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Full text of "Biographical sketches of the Huguenot Solomon Legaré and of his family : extending down to the fourth generation of his descendants. Also, Reminiscences of the revolutionary struggle with Great Britain, including incidents and scenes which occurred in Charleston, on John's Island, and in the surrounding country of South Carolina during the war"

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Gc M 1 1 

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3 1833 

143 4823 

















Edward Perry & Co., Printers and Stationers. 

No. 217 Meeting Street, Opp. Charleston Hotel. 







v -\ PAGE. 

Preface ^ 

Biographical Sketches of the Huguenot Solomon Legare and 
of his Parents \ 19 

Origin of the Old Circular Church in Charleston, and its es- 
tablishment in A. D. 1686 27 

Genealogical and Biographical Sketches of the Huguenot 

Legare's Nine Children 43 

Genealogical and Biographical Sketches of some of the Hugue- 
not Legare's Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren 53 

Reminiscences of the Revolutionary Struggl \ w ith Great Britain 81 

The Defeat of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown ; close of the War, 
and Return of the Exiles to their Homes in South Caro- 
lina 129 

Closing Scenes in the Lives of some of the Caravan Party of 

Returned Exiles 131 


During the season of civil and religious persecution 
which immediately preceded and followed the Revolu- 
tion of the Edict ofXantes, A. D. 1685, in the reign of 
Louis XIYth — when the sword of Papal authority 
again perfidiously soaked the soil of Southern France 
with the blood of the Protestants — great numbers of 
the best citizens escaped from France, and fled for 
safety to the Protestant countries of Europe, and 
not a few of these found refuse on the then newly 
settled shores of Carolina. Dr. David Ramsay, in 
his History of South Carolina, gives some account 
of these refugees, and among the names of the Hu- 
guenot families there mentioned, is that of Legare 
as a refugee from persecution in France. 

The persecuting authorities of France having per- 
fidiously broken their treatv with the Protestants, 
compel Led the Huguenots either to forsake their Bi- 
bles and recant their faith in the teachings of the 
Word of God, or else to be tortured and murdered. 
After the revocation of the Edict of Xantes, the Hu- 
guenots were even forbidden to leave France, and 
commanded to remain within the Kingdom, that they 
might thus become exterminated; and all who were 
caught attempting to make their escape were cruelly 
butchered in cold blood. Yet, notwithstanding all 
these efforts to prevent the persecuted Huguenots 
from leaving France, it is computed that at least five 
hundred thousand escaped the wholesale massacre 

and found asylums of rest within the Protestant coun- 
tries of Europe and America. 

"Emigration now attained gigantic proportions. 
In spite of cunning preventive measures — in spite of 
constantly reiterated decrees, denouncing death upon 
all who should venture to pass the French frontier — 
in spite of cordons of soldiers stationed to dragoon 
back all refugees, the tide of emigration set resolutely, 
irresistibly towards Protestant Europe. England, 
Switzerland, Holland, Prussia, Denmark and Swe- 
den, generously relieved their first necessities. 
******* * 

The depopulation of the kingdom was frightful. 
The best authorities estimate that France lost live 
hundred thousand of her best, most intelligent, 
moral and industrious citizens. She lost, besides, 
sixty millions of francs in specie, and- her most val- 
uable manufactures, while four hundred thousand 
lives.paid the forfeit of the reign of terror. This 
was what it cost to suppress the truth in France !" 

History of the Huguenots. 

The following facts concerning the Huguenot Sol- 
omon Legare and his parents, have been preserved 
among their descendants, and handed down from 
parent to child — some of them through tradition, 
and some in manuscript form, written in the family 
bibles of his grandchildren. About thirty-seven 
years ago one of the Huguenot Legare's great-great- 
granddaughters, Mrs. Eliza C. X. Fludd, collected 
them all together and compiled them into a volume 
of Familv Chronicles — along with biographical 

notices of the lives and deaths of some of the old 
Huguenot Leu'are's children and grandchildren. 

In addition to the traditions which she received 
from the lips of the oldest members of the family 
then living, she had other authentic family records 
to guide her pen. and extracts from the files of old 
newspapers kept as public records, which were 
searched out of the offices by the Hon. Hugh S win- 
ton Legare, one of the great-great-grandsons of the 
Huguenot Legare. 

When this first manuscript was completed, it was 
very extensively read among the descendants of the 
Ilngnenot Legare, who were then living in South 
Carolina. And. at the request of some of them who 
resided in Xew England, Xew York, Philadelphia 
and Xew Orleans, the manuscript was forwarded to 
each of those places for the perusal of those interest- 
ed in it. This brought out more information : sev- 
eral elderly ladies sent to Mrs. Flndd old manuscripts 
containing farther particulars about the Legare fam- 
ily, while thev lived in France. Among these old 
papers, the Huguenot's bible came to hand, contain- 
ing many notes written by the old gentleman, about 
the sorrows of God's persecuted people, and God's 
faithfulness to them under those sorrows, with 
touching and pathetic remarks addressed to his chil- 
dren, urging them to trust in the Lord always. 

The substance of the additional particulars thus 
received is embodied in the following pages, which 
'are now printed at the special request of many of the 
Huguenot Legare's descendants living in several 
parts of the United States, who wish to transmit 
the volume to their children as an heirloom. 


Tradition says, were originally natives of Xormandv, 
from whence, more than two hundred years ago, 
some of them emigrated to the Southeastern Prov- 
inces of France, and that it was from this branch 
of the Legare Family that the Legares of South Car- 
olina are descended. While the Hon. Hugh Swin- 
ton Legare was United States Minister to Belgium, 
he visited Xormandv, searched for and found some 
traces of the family in the <Ad public records, hut 
could find no living representative of the old family. 
He saw among the records of the old Court Tourna- 
ments accounts of several of the Knights named 
Legare, who had distinguished themselves on certain 
occasions. But he had every reason to believe that 
the name was then extinct in Xormandv. 

Dr. Baird, in his recently published. " History of 
the Huguenot Emigration to America," has made a 
great mistake in his statement, that the South Caro- 
lina Legare familv — including the Hon. Hugh Swin- 
ton Legare — are all descended from one " Francois 
L'E^are or Legare," who was naturalized in Eng- 
land, in -the year 1682, then sought admission into 
the Colon v of Massachusetts on February 1st, 1691, 
and actually settled in Massachusetts, from whence, 
one of his sons named Solomon, emigrated a^ain to 
Carolina, and became the founder of the Legare fam- 
ily there. — See vol. 2d, pages 111, 112. 


The Legare family in South Carolina never before 
heard of the Legares who settled in Massachusetts, 
and know not from whence they came ; but both 
date* and J acts prove the error of the statement. 

The father of that Solomon Legare the Huguenot, 
from whom the Legares of South Carolinaare de- 
scended, never left France, never came to America, 
and never was a Huguenot by profession, though he 
was utterly opposed to the persecution of Bible 
Christians. He continued nominally a member of 
the Church of Rome to the day of his death, which 
occurred suddenly while he was living with his wife, 
Madame Legare, in their own home on the banks of 
the Loire, in France. He left four sons — the three 
oldest sons wefejby his first wife, and all of them 
were members of the Church of Koine. These three 
sons emigrated from France to the French Province 
of Canada, in company with Monsieur Valier, second 
Bishop of Quebec, about the year 1686. Their de- 
scendants are still in Canada, and are all still 

His fourth, and youngest son Solomon Legare, was 
the only child of his second wife, Madame Legare, 
who was a Huguenot, and a descendant, through 
many generations, of the Waldenses. This son, Sol- 
omon, was educated by his mother in the Protestant 
faith of the Huguenots; and before he was twenty 
years of age, became an object of Papal hatred and 
persecution. This was that Soloman Legare, the 
Huguenot, who became the ancestor of the Legare 
Family of South Carolina. He tied from Papal per- 
secution in France, in 1685, some months before the 


revocation of the Edict of Xante?, while he was at 
college in the city of Lyons, and while both of his 
parents were living in their own home on the hanks 
of the river Loire, not tar from the citv of Lvons. 

The sudden death of her husband left Madame 
Legare without a protector ; the estate was immedi- 
ately seized by R<nnan Catholic members of the fam- 
ily, and the daily increasing horrors of the persecu- 
tion raging all around, warned her to escape quickiv, 
which she did under cover of a visit to her own rela- 
tives, who lived on the shore of the Mediterranean 
Sea. From thence, she escaped along with them to 
the shelter of an English ship, just a few days before 
the revocation of the Edict of Xantes was signed. 
In this way Madame Legare reached Bristol, in Eng- 
land, where she met her son by appointment. 

They remained some months in Bristol, and while 
living there, Solomon Legare, the Huguenot, mar- 
ried a young English lady of eminent piety. Xot 
long after their marriage, he, in company with his 
young bride and his mother. Madame Legare, sailed 
for the British Province of Carolina, in Amer- 
ica. They readied Charles Town, in South Carolina. 
late in the year 1086, where Mr. Solomon Legare 
soon after became, along with other Huguenots and 
Congregationalists from England, one of the foun- 
ders of the old Congregational (Circular; Church, in 
Charleston, and he continued, for many years to be 
one of its most prominent church officers. His 
mother, Madame Legare, was the Jirst adult person 
buried in that church-yard. Her mortal remains lie 
under the circular foundation of the second building 



erected upon that site, which was much larger than 
the first building was. 

Madame Legare knew, that before her husband's 

death, he had made arrangements for sending ins 
three oldest sons to one of the French Produces in 
America. But, the sudden death of her husband 
and the subsequent necessity for her own speedy 
flight from France, completely separated the two 
branches of the family : and, if the Huguenot. Sol- 
omon Legare, knew that Canada was the Province 
to which his older half-brothers had emigrated, after 
he had himself fled from persecution in France, he 
certainly never informed his children to that effect. 
Consequently, none of the descendants of the Hu- 
guenot Solomon Legare, knew of the existence of 
the Legares in Canada, till about fifteen years since, 
when the two branches of the family became known 
to each other in the following manner: 

At the close of the late civil war, when all the 
good schools in the South were broken up, Mrs. 
Phenix, a great-great-great-granddaughter of the 
Huguenot Legare — having lo^st the most of her pro- 
perty by the results of the war, took her son to Can- 
ada and placed him in a Jesuit College, on account 
of the cheap tuition. 

The principal of the institution inquired of her, 
how her son came by the name of Legare, which, he 
said, Avas a French name. Mrs. Phenix replied, that 
was her father's name, and that her son was named 
for him. The Priest responded : 

" Are you aware of the fact, that you have rela- 
tives now living in Canada V 


Mrs. Phenix told him she had no relatives living 
in Canada, and that the Legares of South Carolina, 
are all descendants of the Huguenot Legare. To 
this the priest replied : 

" Yes; but you are all descendants from the same 
old stock: I know all about it. There were four 
brothers, who emigrated to America, the youngest of 
whom, Solomon, was your ancestor: and it is be- 
cause he changed his religion — left the old true 
Church and his father's family, to become a Protest- 
ant, that he lost sight of his brothers who settled in 
Canada. But we bare had our eye upon you all the time ; 
we have never lost sight of him and his descend- 
ants, though it is now nearly two hundred years 
since he first settled in South Carolina. There are, 
at the present time, many descendants of the three 
older brothers living in Canada — one of these is a 
distinguished statesman and a member of Parlia- 
ment; another is the Rev. Adolph Ignaee Irenee 
Legare, Director of the College or Seminaire de 
Quebec, a great University !" 

"The Rev. Adolph Leirare is one of the greatest 
minds in the Catholic Church : a man of great learn- 
ing and a polished gentleman. He has two brothers, 
also priests, in the same university ; but they are not 
Jesuits priests, belong to no order, simply secular 
priests. Rev. Cyrille Legare is also a distinguished 
scholar, and a charming companion/' 

Mrs. Phenix asked: 

" AVhv did you you not tell me all this at first V 

The priest replied : 

" If I had done so, you would probably have car- 


ried your son to Quebec and placed him under their 
care ; but I preferred to have him with us." 

Mrs. Phenix, after her return to South Carolina, 
wrote to Rev. Adolphe Legate, and received from 
him in reply, the following letter, which gives the 
family tradition, as it has been preserved in the Can- 
adian branch of the family, but differing in some 
points from ours, namely : 

That Solomon Legare, the Huguenot, went first 
from France to Canada along with his older broth- 
ers, and then emigrated to South Carolina, where he 
became a Protestant. This statement is incorrect, 
for Solomon Legare, the Huguenot, was compelled 
to flee from France by persecution for being a Pro- 
testant, before his older brothers left France and 
settled in Canada. And the Rev. Adolphe Legare 
says in this letter : " Although the tradition of our 
family may not be identically the same as yours, vet 
I have reason to believe that yours is the more exact.*' 

" Seminary of Quebec, ] 

Quebec, Oct. 13th, 1871. J 

To Madam E. L. Phenix : 

Madam — I have received with a verv lively pleas- 
lire, and have read with the greatest interest, your 
letter of the 24th of September last. More— I have 
had the pleasure of making the -acquaintance, and of 
renewing the bonds of relationship with Mr. Joseph 
J. Legare, who came to make us a visit in Quebec 
yesterday and the day before ; he will depart this 
evening for Charleston. 


I have no doubt that we are of the same family, 
for, although the tradition of our family may not be 
identically the same as yours, yet I have reason to 
believe that yours is the more exact. The record in 
the family is that there were four brothers who came 
to America, (that is to say Canada) with Mr. St. 
Valier, second Bishop of Quebec. Three of these 
brothers established themselves here in Canada, and 
the fourth departed for the Southern States, where 
he became Protestant, as all his descendants. 

The epoch in which Mr. St. Valier came to Que- 
bec was in 1685, but he departed to Europe twice 
after this epoch, twice returning to Canada. These 
three brothers established themselves in the environs 
of Quebec, as cultivators of the soil (I think) and 
their descendants are very numerous, and all occupy 
rank in society. Here, in the Seminary of Quebec, 
we are three brothers, priests ; I am the eldest ; 
Mr. Cyrille, whose name you will read in the annual 
I send you, is the younger, and Mr. A^ictor, the 
youngest. AVe have a fourth brother, still younger, 
who is in commerce. Mv mother still lives, she is 
sixty-nine years old. My father has been dead six 
years. I have uncles — some lawyers, some notaries, v 
some in commerce. One of my cousins, Mr. Joseph 
Legare, dead several years, was an artist, rather 

Among our ancestors, I do not see that there may 
have been any who had occupied positions very emi- 
nent in society, but I believe that all were in posses- 
sion of a certain ease, or competency; and, above 
all, of a great character for respectability. 


I am going to try to trace back to the origin of 
the family, through some private researches, and I 
shall be happy to transmit to you all the information 
that I can find. 

Mr. Cvrille, mv brother, after having made his 
course of study in Quebec, passed over to Paris, 
where he took his degrees at the University. He 
studied four years in Paris, then travelled in differ- 
ent parts of Europe. Unfortunately, he does not en- 
joy good health. The physicians here have declared 
these last days, that it is necessary. for him to pass 
the winter in a climate less severe than that of Can- 
ada. It will then be possible, some day, that he will 
go to present his respects to you, and to solicit, on 
our part, the good will you express in your letter. 

Waiting the pleasure of receiving your amiable 
news, I subscribe myself, 

Your much devoted cousin, 

Adolphe J. J. Legare." 

The following winter, the Rev. Cvrille Legare 
passed through South Carolina, on his way to Flor- 
ida, and called upon the Southern cousins whose 
acquaintance he had thus made. They were greatly 
pleased with him, and described him as being a very 
handsome man, a polished gentleman, and a most 
agreeable companion. 

The personal piety and practical faith illustrated 
bv the facts recorded in these paeres, serve to show 
what religion was to those whose devotion to the 
"truth in Jesus/' and whose love and reverence for 
the written Word of God, was such an all-absorbing 


principle of their very existence, that, to them, all 
else was but dross in comparison with the riches of 
grace. It 1 thev " might but win Christ and be found 
in Him," they " counted not their lives dear unto 
the death." Such was the spirit of the Huguenot ■ 
martyrs — they proved themselves willing to forsake 
all things else for Christ. 

It was this principle firmly implanted in the souls 
of onr Huguenot ancestors, which led them, like 
Moses of old, to " choose rather to surfer affliction 
with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures 
of sin for a season." Accordingly, thev found them- 
selves under the necessity of seeking an asylum in a 
foreign land. And. following the leadings of Provi- 
dence, they were brought into " The Wilderness " 
of America. 

And when they reached America, they met with 
other men and women there, who also had left their 
homes in Great Britain to rind and enjoy civil and 
religious liberty in the New World, as it was not to 
be found, and could not be enjoyed under the op- 
pressive and exacting requirements of the State 
Churches of Europe, those " dragon powers of the 
old serpent." Thus it was that k * Civil and Religious 
Liberty,'' became the icaiehicord of the American 
church from its very infancy ; and before long made 
itself heard publicly and decidedly in the Declaration 
of Independence, and in the Constitution of the 
United States, securing liberty of conscience and 
the right of private judgment to all of its citizen^. 
in things pertaining to the worship of God. 

•• • • 







Both the father and mother of the Huguenot Le- 
gare were natives of Southeastern France, and at the 
time this narrative begins, thev resided near Lvons, 
on the hanks of the Loire. An old manuscript says 
of him : " Solomon Legare was under the age of 
twenty, when, along with other devoted Huguenots, 
he adjured forever his beautiful native land, the soft 
and delicious hanks of the Loire, to plunge into the 
depths of an untrodden wilderness, covered with 
swamps and breathing pestilence ; hecause in its 
dreary solitude he could commune with and worship 
God according to the dictates of his conscience, 
without molestation from civil and religious perse- 

The familv consisted then of the father, mother, 
and four sons. The three eldest sons were the chil- 
dren of the first wife, then dead, and the vounorest 
son was the only child of the second wife, then liv- 
ing. The father and three elder brothers were all 
by profession, members of the Church of Rome. 
But the second wife and her son, whose name was 
Solomon, were Huguenots, and well known as such. 


This Madame Legare, the mother of Solomon 
Legare, the Huguenot, was herself a descendant of 

the Vaudois. Her ancestors, along with other Pro- 
testants, had been driven by the bloody persecution 
of the Romanists, to take refuge in the mountain 
fastnesses of the Alps, from which hiding-places 
they had again descended to the shore of the Medi- 
terranean Sea, where her relatives were living at this 

" These Vaudois Christians were afterwards called 
Waldenses under the leadership of Peter Waldo, of 
Languedoc, one of the finest names in history, and 
the chief promoter of the Vaudois, as the dis- 
senters were then called. * * But in the reign of 
Henry the Second, the soubriquet Huguenots began 
to be generally applied to the French reformers, and 
Huguenots became the honorable and universal 
synonym of politico-ecclesiastical reform." 

History of the Huguenots. 

" The precise term or form Huguenots may be 
owing to the fact, that an influential leader of the 
Republican Protestants of Geneva, was named 
Ungues and his followers were called Huguenot?. 
And many years afterwards, the enemies of the 
French Protestants called them by this name, wish- 
ing to stigmatize them, and to impute to them a for- 
eign, republican and heretical origin. Such is the 
true etymology of the word. 7 ' 


It appears that, though the father of the Huguenot 
Legare was himself, nominally, a member of the 


Church of Rome, and his three sons by his first wife 
were all educated and brought up Romanists, yet he 
never interfere* I with the faith of his Huguenot wife : 
on the contrary, he allowed her to have the whole 
control of her only son's education, insomuch, that 
he was thoroughly educated in the faith of the Hu- 
guenots as they received it from the IIolv Bible. 
One of the old manuscripts reads : % * That the mother 
of Solomon Legare instructed her son in the Pro- 
testant faith, and by her ardent piety and the dili- 
gent performance of her maternal duties; she was 
instrumental of establishing in Carolina a very nu- 
merous and respectable posterity. Her daily fervent 
and effectual prayer was, that her children, to the 
latest generation, should continue in the faith, and 
boldly profess their adherence to their Saviour, a 
prayer which has, thus far, been mercifully answered 
to the fourth generation, in every branch of her 

Indeed, the father of this vouthful Huguenot was 
accused of favoring the '* Heretics,*' as the Bible 
Christians were called, and no doubt he did, for he 
was utterly and openly opposed to the persecution of 
the Protestants, and refused to take any part in it. 
But some of his first wife's relations were bigoted 
persecuting Romanists, and they reported the young 
Solomon Legare to the Inquisitors, as an obstinate 
heretic, and a dangerous enemv to the Papacy. 

Solomon Legare, the Huguenot, was, at this time, 
in a college at Lyons, where his mother had placed 
him ; but some one interested in the young man, dis- 
covered and communicated to his mother the fact. 


that her son was marked as a heretic, to be punished 
by the Inquisition, and that measures were in pro- 
gress for his removal from the college and delivery 
to the Inquisitors. 

Knowing that no time was to he lost, Madam 
Legare immediately despatched a faithful Huguenot 
servant to the college, who informed the young col- 
legiate of the danger which both his liberty and life 
were in from the Papists. The servant also commu- 
nicated, verbal/'/, what his mother's instructions 
were, as follows : 

She counselled her son to leave the college with- 
out an hour's delay, and to make his escape from 
Lyons in the disguise of a young peasant passing 
from one town to another, with produce tor sale : 
for the effecting of this advice, the means had already 
been provided, and were at hand. Having thus 
escaped in disguise from the city of Lyons, she as- 
sured her son, that on his arrival at a certain place 
named, he would there find a certain person awaiting 
him with a purse of gold and a strong horse equipped 
for a journey. With these provisions, she counselled 
her dear young son to make his way expeditiously, 
but cautiously, out of the kingdom of France, and 
to go by the shortest road to Geneva, in Switzerland, 
where he would find friends. Then, after having 
reached that citv of refuse in safety, he must bend 
his course towards the City of Bristol in England, to 
which place some of her relatives had already escaped 
from France by sea. 

Madame Legare also directed her son to remain 
with her relatives in Bristol, until she could, herself, 


escape from France, and join him there. She believed 
that her own turn to be arrested would soon come, 
and knew that her husband, in that event, would not 
be able to save her from the Inquisition. She, there- 
fore, determined to leave France by the first oppor- 
tunity by sea, and to follow her son to England. 

With this determination in view, Madame Legare 
had been for months secretly preparing for a sudden 
departure from France. Her husband had also fore- 
seen the necessity that must come, sooner or later, 
for his family to leave France, or to become victims 
of Papal hatred and malice. He, therefore, after his 
son Solomon's escape from the Inquisitors, secretly 
assisted Jus wife in making her preparations for flight 
by sea. He also made arrangements for sending his 
three eldest sons to one of the French Provinces in 
America, lest, by remaining in distracted France, 
they should be tempted to imbrue their hands in the 
blood of the persecuted Bible Christians, as so many 
others had done. 

Thus secretly assisted by her husband, Madame Le- 
gare had had a large amount of gold coin and other 
valuables conveved to some of her relatives living 
on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, who, from 
thence, shipped them on board of a friendly English 
vessel lying off the coast, and thus these valuables 
were conveyed safely to the care of friends in 

The sudden death of her husband, but a few 
weeks before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 
left Madame Legare entirely without a protector in 
France, and the daily increasing horrors of perse- 


cution all around warned her to eseape without 
delay to her relatives on the sea-coast, which she did 
under cover of a visit to them. Then, along with 
them, she escaped to the shelter of an English ship 
on the Mediterranean Sea, just a few days before the 
revocation of the Edict of Xantes was signed by 
Louis the XIYth, and just in time to save them from 
coming, personally, in contact with " the blood- 
hounds of the Papacy," who were then immediately 
unleashed, and let loose upon the Huguenots to hold 
their carnival of blood, which they did throughout 
all France, but especially in the Southern and East- 
ern provinces, as history has faithfully recorded, and 
glowingly depicted, to the disgrace of the wicked 

The ship containing these refugees soon reached 
England in safety, and landed them at Bristol, where 
Madame Legare had the happiness of meeting her 
son, about whom she had been exceedingly anxious, 
having neither heard from nor of him, since he left 

Shortly after Madame Legare's arrival in Bristol, 
her son Solomon Legare and herself, along with 
some other Huguenot refugees, decided to join the 
then newly settled English Colony in America, on 
the shore of Carolina, under the protection of Great 
Britain. Accordingly, after a sojourn of several 
months in Bristol, they again embarked for their 
final destination in the Western wilderness, sailed 
across the Atlantic Ocean and landed at Charlestown, 
in South Carolina, in the year IMG, about sixteen 
years after the first settlement of the Province, and 


about six years after the first settlement of the pres- 
ent site of the City of Charleston, which was in 1680. 

While the voung Huguenot, Solomon Legare, 
sojourned in Bristol, he had sought and obtained in 
marriage, the heart and hand of a young English 
lady, who was afterwards noted through life for the 
deep-toned piety of her heart, as well as for her 
intelligence, moral worth and domestic virtues. 
Their marriage took place immediately before they 
sailed from England, and Madame Legare lived with 
them in their new home in Carolina for several years 
before death ended her eventful life on earth. She 
was honored and loved bv all who knew her, and of 
her it was said by mourning relatives and friends — 
14 Her children arise up and call her blessed." 

The mortal remains of Madame Legare were laid 
to rest in the grave-yard of what is now called the 
Circular Church. It is said that she was the first 
adult person buried in that grave-yard, and her body 
lies under the foundation of the present edifice, 
which is considerably larger than the first building 
erected on that site. 



Independent Congregational (Chnvcli, 



The Huguenot, Solomon Legare, was one of the 
founders of that old church, along with a number of 
other Huguenots from France, and Dissenters from 

Shortly after the arrival of Solomon Legare in 
Charleston, in the year 1686, these emigrants, after 
consulting together, organized themselves into a 
united Church membership, composed of church- 
members gathered together, by the providence of 
God, from the Protestant Churches of France and 
the dissenting Churches of England. They then 
built a church in Meeting 1 Street and invited Rev. 
Thomas Barret, a Congregational Minister from 
England, to be their pastor. 

Thus, it appears that, at its origin, this undenomi- 
national Church united, in its organization, both 
Congregationalists from England, and Independent 
Presbyterians from France — for such the Huguenots 
had really been in France, all of whom were, with- 
out an exception. Dissenters in principle and in prac- 
tice, from a Stole Church policy. Thus united, they 
allowed themselves to be indiscriminately styled, a 
Presbyterian, a Congregational, or an Independent 

* As the old ^rave-stones in the church-yard show. 


'Within the fold of this united Christian brother- 
hood, all Dissenters iron) a State Church policy, met 
on the basis of the Holy Bible, as one in Christ, and 
worshipped God harmoniously together, not troub- 
ling themselves and the Church with disputes about 
u Mine and Thine," in the non-essentials of religion, 
but recognizing each other as unitedly one in all those 
things which an essential to salvation through Chtist; 
a lesson which many professing Christians and 
churehes of the present day might learn to their own 
advantage, as well as to the peace and prosperity of 
the Church universal. 

Such to a very remarkable degree has been the 
spirit which this undenominational Christian Church 
has been noted for, and lias maintained for nearly 
two centuries past. u It was called a Congregation 
Church, not because it was bound up to any rules or 
forms laid down by the Savoy or Cambridge Direc- 
torv, but because it acted in all its concerns as a 
congregation disconnected from all others. It was 
also sometimes called a Presbyterian Church, be- 
cause its creed, doctrines and form of worship were, 
in substance, the same as those of the Presbyterian 
Church generally."' But this Church was in exist- 
ence, as it now is, before any Presbyterian Church 
was ever organized in America. And though it has 
repeatedly been urged and invited to unite formally 
with the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, and in 
these United States of America, it has always refused 
to come under the rule of any presbytery, either in 
its spiritual or temporal and secular affairs. " The 
Church has always, from its origin, been governed 


by its own sessions, the one composed of its own 
pastor, deacons and male communing members, have 
the oversight and control of all its spiritual affairs. 
The other composed of its own corporators, have 
the management and control of all its secular 

" The doctrines or creed of the Church is thus 
given by Dr. David Ramsay, who was in his day a 
very prominent officer of this Church. k To these 
outlines of the government of the Church, it may be 
proper to subjoin a general view of its doctrines. It 
never was the intention so much to build up any one 
denomination of Christians, as to build up Christian- 
ity itself. Its members were, therefore, less attached 
to names and "parties than to a system of doctrines 

which thev believed to be essential to a correct view 

« » 

of the gospel plan of salvation. These have been 
generally called the doctrines of the Reformation — 
of free grace, or, of the evangelical system. The 
minister who preached these doctrines explicitly and 
unccpiivocally. was always acceptable, to whatever 
denomination he might belong. On the other hand, 
where these were wanting, no accordance on other 
points, no splendor of learning, no fascination of 
eloquence could make up for the defect." 

In 1804 the congregation took down the old 
church, and built upon the same site, an entirely new 
church of a circular form, having eighty-eight feet 
interior diameter, at an estimated cost of 860,000. 
and the new Circular Church was dedicated May 
25th, 1806, hence comes the familiar name, " The 
Circular Church," by which this old church has 
since been so well known in later times. 


And this same old Independant Congregational 

(Circular) Church, has a record of usefulness and 
benevolence which few individual churches can show. 
Standing alone, independent of, and disconnected 
with all ether churches, it has given to the world 
more than twenty of her baptized and trained sons, 
to be ministers of the gospel, and missionaries of the 
Cross of Christ. 

" The first sabbath school in South Carolina ori- 
ginated in this church in 1817." 

" The Charleston Bible Society, which preceded 
the American Bible Society by six years, and is but 
six years younger than the British and-Foreign Bible 
Society, originated with the Rev. J. S. Keith, D. D., 
a pastor of tins Church." 

One of the ladies 7 societies in the church for assist- 
ing in the education of pious youths for the gospel 
ministry, accomplished much srood. "This society's 
records mention donations to individual voiing" men 
amounting to $5,590. It also founded two scholar- 
ships in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 
Princeton, New Jersey, in the davs of good old Dr. 
Alexander ; one of these was called the u Charleston 
Female Scholarship," and the other, " The Jane Keith 
Scholarship.*' It gave, years ago, to the Presbyterian 
Theological Seminary, in Columbia, South Carolina, 
the sum of 85,634. 

Besides the above, it has, at various times, donated 
smaller amounts to the Educational Society, in Yale 
College; to the American Educational Society; to 
Andover Theological Seminary, and to the General 
Assemblv of the Presbyterian Church. Its recorded 


gifts to outsiders amounted in all to about 815,000. 

Thus, liberally, they gave of their abundance, but 
not of their superabundance, for that was before the 
day of American millionaires, and it is mentioned to 
show how diffusive and liberal were the charities of 
this " Old Mother in Israel," as this old church 
was often justly styled, as well as to illustrate how 
much o-ood a small society of earnest Christian ladies 
can accomplish. 

And the above named sum is but a small portion 
of the amount which this old church, as a body, has, 
from time to time, contributed to help forward relig- 
ious and charitable institutions, while her individual 
member* have also given freely to other denomina- 
tions thousands of dollars for religious and charitable 
purposes, as many still living can testify. 

After the Church had been organized in 1686, bv 
French Protestants ami English Congregationalists, 
Presbyterians from Scotland and Ireland arrived in 
Charleston, and also united themselves with this 
same Independent Congregational Church. Here 
they all worshipped God together harmoniously, 
until the arrival of Rev. Archibald Stobo in the 

Rev. Archibald Stobo was a Scotchman, and he 
was the first Presbyterian Minister in South Caro- 
lina. He had been sent from Scotland with a small 
com nan v of Presbyterians, to settle a colony on the 
Isthmus of Darien. They failed in doing this and 
were returning to Scotland. When the ship reached 
the coast near Charleston, they sent a boat up to the 
town for water and provisions. Mr. Stobo and his 


wife having Scotch friends living in Charlcstown, 
took this opportunity of visiting them, expecting to 
return with the boat to the ship next day. But, 
that night a hurricane suddenly arose, the ship was 
wrecked and every one on board of her perished. 
After the storm was over, the boat's crew went over 
the bar to look fur the ship, but only a few floating 
pieces of the wreck could he seen. The sailors, 
along with Mr. and Mrs. Stobo, then returned to 
Charlcstown in £reat distress, and received every 
kindness from the hospitable and sympathizing 

The Congregational Church being just then with- 
out a pastor, invited Mr. Stobo to preach for them, 
and afterwards he became their pastor — 1700. But, 
as soon as Mr. Stobo was installed as pastor of the 
Church, he began to urge the congregation to unite 
their Church formally with the Presbyterian Church 
of Scotland. This the French and English elements 
positively and decidedly refused to do. They had 
had epiite enough of State-Church rule already in 
Europe. Notwithstanding this refusal, Mr. Stobo 
being a man of a dictatorial and obstinate temper of 
mind, persevered in pressing his proposal upon the 
congregation until he became so unpopular that he 
had to resign as pastor of the Church in 1704. 

Shortlv after, through Mr. Stobo's influence, about 
twelve Scotch families left the Independent Congrega- 
tional Church, and built the Scotch Presbyterian 
Church, at the corner of Meeting and Tradd Streets, 
now called the First Presbyterian Church. 

The separation was an amicable one ; there was 
no discord about doctrine, the question was simply 


one of Church government, and each party accorded 
to the other the right to judge and act tor themselves. 
Consequently, the best fraternal relations have ever 
existed- between these two churches; their ministers 
often interchanged pulpits, and the congregations 
occasionally worshipped together under the same 
roof, and united their religious and charitable enter- 
prises in the same societies. 

Solomon Legare, the Huguenot, was a man of 
small stature and of a very warm and excitable tem- 
per, as most Frenchmen are, hut he possessed the 
strictest integrity of character combined with prim- 
itive piety of heart. He was naturally a man of very 
decided character, and educated and disciplined as 
he had been from childhood, in the hard school of 
civil and religious persecution and oppression, it is 
not strange that this innate decision of character 
almost amounted to sternness in cases where princi- 
ple was involved. He never hesitated to speak out 
fearlessly his convietions of right and duty, even if 
he stood alone in so doing. 

Some amusing incidents are related of him, as 
illustrating this characteristic of the old Uu<ruenot. 
It was customary at that early day for families to 
dine at twelve o'clock noon. The Huguenot Leirare 
was ever very strict in the observance of regular 
hours, and to his great annoyance the Rev." Mr. 
Stobo, then pastor of the Church, introduced the 
practice of preaching sermons of such unusual 
length, that the church services interfered with family 
arrangemets for the usual dinner hour. Mr. Legare 
and the other church officers had several times told 


Mr. Stobo of this difficulty, and requested him to 
divide his sermons into two parts, for morning and 
afternoon. But the reverend gentleman believed 
in having everything: done in his own wav, regard- 
less of the convenience of the whole congregation, 
and obstinately persisted in preaching his one long 
sermon, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the 
church officers. The other church officers were dis- 
pleased at Mr. Stobo's conduct in this matter, but 
submitted to the annoyance for fear 'of creating; a 
disturbance in the church. But Mr. Legare told 
them that he would not submit to the innovation 
another Sabbath, and would find a way of letting 
Mr. Stobo know his determination in the matter. 

Accordingly, the next Sunday as the town clock 
struck twelve, Mr. Legare got up in the midst of the 
sermon and left the pew, followed by his wife and 
children and several other members of his family. 
As they were silently walking down the aisle of the 
church, Mr. Stobo, after pausing awhile in his dis- 
course, called out to Mr. Legare in a loud Scotch 
accent, " Aye, aye, a little peteher is soon full ! 7? 
Upon this irreverent remark from the pulpit, the 
Huguenot's French blood became excited, and, 
turning himself round in the aisle, he still more 
irreverently retorted, but in a suppressed tone only 
heard bv those near to him, "And you are an old 
fool !" Mr. Legare then quietly went home with 
his faniilv, where thev ate their dinner; after which 

«, 7 v 7 

they all returned with him to the church, marched 
noiselessly up the aisle behind him to the pew in 
front of the pulpit, and listened to the balance of the 

1573236 o 


sermon as gravely as if nothing had occurred to dis- 
turb the sen-ices of the morning. 

This silent reproof had the desired effect; Mr. 
Stobo yielded the point, and the next Sabbath he 
{►reached the first half of his sermon in the morning, 
closing the services in time to allow the congregation 
to go home and take their dinner at the usual hour. 
After which they returned to the afternoon service 
in proper time, and heard him preach the last half 
of his discourse, and so the difficulty ended. 

The gold which Madame Legarehad succeeded in 
bringing with her from France, served as a capital 
tor her son to start life upon in the Xew World, and 
he soon became a large land owner in Charlestown 
and its vicinity. He was the owner of three large 
squares within the town, and of several large plan- 
tations in the surrounding country The Huguenot, 
Solomon Legare, had nine children— three sons and 
six daughters, and he settled every one of them com- 
fortably in life, as soon as they successively grew up 
to manhood and to womanhood, and attained the age 
<>t twenty-one years— reserving for himself and wife 
u comfortable and independent support. 

Though possessed of so much property, he made 
« rule in his family which was faithfully carried out 
»'» practice for several succeeding generations, 
namely: That every male child of his family, no 
■waiter how much property he might be heir to, or 
In? already in possession of, should be taught some 
«*cnil trade. So that, in the event of some other 
evolution, or other misfortune in life, which should 
'•iVrive them of their property, as he had been 


deprived of his, they might have something else to 
fall baek upon for a support, even in a foreign land. 
Such a rule existed among the Jews in the time of 
the Apostle Paul. 

It was the custom in these early days of the young 
colony for families to dine at twelve o'clock, and 
take their tea and supper at sunset ; after which the 
old folks sat around their street doors: or, like good 
old-fashioned neighbors, they exchanged kind greet- 
ings with each other from house to house, while the 
young people assembled in groups to walk or play 
about the streets. It is said that on summer moon- 
light evenings, the grown srirls and voung men 
amused themselves after this fashion in playing 
" Tray's Ace,'' " Blind Man's Buff,'' &c. And they, 
doubtless, enjoyed these rural sports quite as much 
as our more refined modern belles and beaux enjoy 
the battery promenade of the present day. But the 
fathers and mothers of that day had a greater regard 
for early and regular hours than their descendants 
now have, for it was then considered a great breach of 
family discipline for a child to stay out after nine 
o'clook at night ; it was the custom to close the house 
at nine o'clock, when all its inmates assembled around 
the familv altar to en^a^e in the devotions of the even- 

«. CD CD 

ing. After which the little community all retired 
to bed and was soon wrapped in peaceful slumber — 
thus preparing themselves for a proportionably early 
start upon the duties of the coming day. 

The Huguenot Legare had married an English 
lady of eminent piety, and because she spoke English 
fluentlv and he did not, familv worship was gener- 


ally conducted by her, at his request. It is said of 
this lady, that she was seldom known to conclude a 
prayer in the family circle without asking of God, 
that her posterity to the latest generation might be 
numbered among his chosen people. These whole- 
souled Christian parents were eminently successful 
in the training and education of their children for 
usefulness in life ; and they had the happiness of 
seeing every one of them become sincere and earnest 
Christians. x 

Their rules of family government, though kind, 
were very strict, for they required of their children 
implicit obedience, and great reverence for sacred 
things ; especially they required a strict observance 
of the Christian Sabbath, in their entire household. 
These parents always devoted Sunday evenings to 
the religions instruction of their children, when 
every child was expected to he present in the family 
circle, even after they were grown up. Xo Sunday 
visiting was allowed, excepting in cases of sickness 
and distress. But on the week days the young 
people were permitted to visit freely, and to enjoy 
themselves in many ways. 

To these Huguenots the Christian religion was a 
reality in which they lived, and for which they were 
readv to die, if called to it. The circumstances that 
had surrounded them in France, forced them to he 
at a point, like Joshua of old, who cried oilt before 
the assembled nations of Israel : " Choose you this 
day whom vou will serve ; but as for me and 
rav house, we will serve the Lord !" Believing thus, 
they taught their children the impossibility and 


absurdity of trying to serve both " God and Mam- 
mon/ ' and urged upon them the necessity of making 
the written Word of God, k * the man of their coun- 
sel and the chart of their life." 

3:>ut the sufferings of this Huguenot and others 
from the persecutions of their own countrymen, 
greatly prejudiced him against the government of 
France, and made him abhor the State Church 
power which had instigated and hounded on the 
persecution of good men for conscience sake. lie 
had a perfect horror of any of his descendants ever 
returning to France, or being perverted into joining 
the Church of Rome, and sought unceasingly to 
sever every tie that might bind his children to his 
native land, which he considered accursed of God 
for the sake of his persecuted people. He, therefore, 
would not allow his children to learn the French 
language, or even suffer it to be spoken in his private 
familv circle, preferring rather a broken English dia- 
lect from those who could not speak English fluently. 

Mr. Legare, who was in the habit of telling his 
children a sreat deal about the Reformation in 
France, Switzerland and Germany, always became 
eloquent and excited when he related to them the 
dreadful scenes of martyrdom by lire and sword, 
which, in his childhood and youth his own eyes had 
witnessed in France, some of the 4 victims being his 
own blood relatives on his mother's side. He also 
told them about the wholesale massacre of Bible 
Christians which his parents and ancestors had wit- 
nessed before he was born ; especially he dwelt 
upon the horrors of the massacre of Saint Bar- 


tholomew — when the " streets of Lyons were .said 
to flow with the blood of God's martyred peo- 
ple." Again, 'he described to them the cruel 
tortures inflicted upon individuals by the Inquis- 
itors, to force them to recant their faith in Christ 
and the Holy Bible, and told of the fiend-like butch- 
ery of thousands of the Huguenots in cold blood, 
after the perfidious revocation of the Edict of 
Xantes, which he and his mother had only escaped 
from by fieeing from their home in France, first to 
England and then to the American wilderness, 
where they had found rest and peace, and where 
they could worship God in safety, according to the 
dictates of the Holy Bible and their own enlightened 

At such times he would exclaim : M Ah, my chil- 
dren ! the blood-soaked soil of France cries to 
heaven for vengeance, and vengeance it will have, 
iust as surelv as righteous Abel's blood, crying from 
the earth to God for vengeance upon his murderer, 
brought down the curse upon Cain, so will a blasting 
curse rest upon France. Mark well what I say to 
vou ! France, (J'l'lbf France, will never again be blest 
with peace, prosperity and quiet : but, on the contrary, 
trouble, violence and revolution after revolution, will 
vex and rend those who have thus troubled and 
murdered the people of God. Therefore, my dear 
children, never do you return to France — keep your- 
selves clear of it, if you would keep clear of the 
fearful curse which hangs over it." 

The history of France for two hundred years past, 
proves how prophetic his words were. 

Mr. Lesrare also affirmed the belief that God 


would never permit " The dragon, that old serpent, 
which is the Devil, and Satan/' Rev. xx : 2. to estab- 
lish any persecuting State Church Power in these 
(then) British Provinces ; because this was " the 
place prepared of God," (Rev. xii : 6,) as a shelter 
for his persecuted people fleeing from those very 
persecutions in Europe. He insisted that the emi- 
gration of the persecuted Huguenots, Puritans and 
other Bible Christians from the old countries had 
commenced the fulfilment of that prophecy, and that 
the persecuting State Church Powers of Europe 
would thus find themselves shorn of their power, and 
comparatively impotent to afflict Bible Christians, as 
they had hitherto done. 

Here, too, the old Huguenot was not mistaken, for 
it is a well-known fact in the history of nations, 
that since the rise and establishment of these United 
States of Xorth America to their elevated position 
in wealth, power and influence among the nations of 
the earth, the sword of professedly religious persecution 
has been, comparatively speaking, sheathed, and 
those who, otherwise, would have used it as of old, 
have been compelled to sit in the mouth of their caves 
— like Bunyan's Giant Pope, grinning with suppressed 
rage, and see their intended victims escaping to the 
shelter of that civil and religious liberty, which God 
has ''prepared'' for the oppressed, in this land of 
bible light and gospel influences, and all the eflbrts 
of infidelity, red republicanism, radicalism, with all 
the other depths of Satan's iniquity combined, has 
never yet, and never will, succeed in putting out 
that light, for it is the lii^ht of Truth in the fulfil- 
ment of Prophecy. 


It is not at all surprising that children brought up 
under such influences became themselves thoroughly 
imbued with the spirit of the Huguenots. Accord- 
ingly, one of the peculiar characteristics of this Hu- 
guenot's descendants in most of the branches, has 
been, as a general rule, an unequivocal and unbend- 
ing adherence to the principles of civil and religious 
liberty, as taught in the Holy Bible, not only pro 
fe.ssing openly and fearlessly the doctrines they 
believed in, but also, in living according to the rules 
of primitive piety. For generations they maintained 
strict religious discipline in their families, refusing 
with unyielding independence of spirit, to conform 
to any of the vain and sinful inroads of fashion and 
wealth, all of which practices they believed to be 
inconsistent with a profession of Christianity. 

Mr. Legare/s independence of spirit sometimes 
led him into peculiarities of conduct which were a 
marvel to some persons, while they drew a smile 
from others. It was well known in the community 
that he was a rich man mid that he was always very 
benevolent and generous in helping the poor and 
n£.edj,~ yet he had for many years, a strange and 
seemingly ridiculous habit of picking up old rusty 
nails and other small bits of iron, which he carried 
home and threw into an old iron chest that always 
was kept in an open piazza at the back part of his 
house. The iron really was too rusty for use, and 
the old iron chest was anything but a desirable piece 
of furniture in a piazza, yet Mr. Legare persisted in 
keeping it there, notwithstanding repeated remon- 
strances from his children, and would still 
occasionaally add to it small contributions of 


rusty iron. This strange conduct was an enigma 
td his children and others, but on his death-bed 

the riddle was solved, tor then he told his chil- 
dren that the old iron chest in his back piazza 
was his bank for the deposit of gold coin, and directed 
them how to open a false bottom in the chest, where 
they would find a large amount. He also then told 
his children that for fifty years he had kept his gold 
coin in that chest without a lock upon it, in the open 
piazza, and without any one's ever having suspected 
that anything valuable could be found in it. The 
following anecdote in connection with this fact, has 
been related of him : 

Some small boys who had observed old Mr. 
Legare's habit of picking up rusty nails, determined 
to play him a trick. They heated some old nails in 
the fire and watched tor the approach of the old 
gentleman in his accustomed walk. They then threw 
the hot nails into the street a few paces ahead of him, 
and, as usual, he stooped to pick up two or three of 
them and burnt Ills fingers, to the great amusement 
of the mischievous urchins. 

The Huguenot, Solomon Legare. lived almost to 
the age of a hundred years. An obituary notice of 
his death in Timothy's South Carolina Gazette, Mav 
17th, 1700, says of him : "On the 8th instant, died 
Mr. Solomon Legare, Sr., in the ninety-eighth year 
of his age — one of the oldest settlers in this Province. 
He had been here seventy-four years." 

" The family must then have settled in Carolina 
in 1686, but sixteen years after the settlement of the 


i OF 




The Huguenot, Solomon Legare, had nine chil- 
dren ; eight of these were the children of his first 
'wife, who was au English lady, and the youngest 
child, Thomas, was the son of his second wife, who 
was a native of America. They all married as 
follows : 

Solomon, the eldest son. married Miss Mary Stock. 

Daniel, the second son, married Miss Peronneau. 

Thomas, the third son, married Miss Jones. 

The eldest daughter was married to Capt. Barks- 
dale, an Englishman by birth : from these the whole 
family of Barksdale. in South Carolina, are de- 
scended; most of these now hear different names 
through marriages with other families. 

The second daughter was married to Mr. Miller. 
a native of Scotland, who afterwards returned to 
Scotland, and their descendants are lost sight of by 
their American cousins. 

The third daughter was married to Mr. Holmes, 
an Englishman, and relative of General Isaac Holmes, 
who was a British Officer. Mrs. Holmes died young, 
leaving. one child, who also died young. 


The fourth daughter was married to Mr. Eveighly, 
an Englishman ; from these are descended the 
Eveighly family, and some of the Richardsons of 
Camden, Clarendon and Santee. 

The fifth daughter, Mary Legare, was married to 
Mr. Ellis, an Englishman. This lady was verv 
wealthy, and noted alike for her piety and benevo- 
lence. Mrs. Ellis gave a valuable plantation in St. 
John's Berkeley, to her brother, Mr. Daniel Legare. 
She also gave two plantations in the same Parish, to 
her nephew, Mr. Thomas Legare. (to whom she was 
£reatlv attached, and with whom she lived and died 
during the Revolutionary struggle with Great Bri- 
tain), besides leaving a very large estate to her only 
child, Mr. Thomas Ellis, and to his family. This 
lady is the "old Mrs. Ellis/' spoken of in u Reminis- 
cences of the Revolutionary War." 

One of Mr. Thomas Ellis's daughters, Eleanor, 
was married to Dr. David Ramsay, the historian, of 
South Carolina. She was his first wife, and died 
childless. Dr. Ramsay afterwards married a second 
wife — a daughter of Ilenrv Laurens, of Revolution- 
ary fame. 

Another daughter of Mr. Thomas Ellis was mar- 
ried to Col. White, and settled in Brunswick, Xew 

Mr. Thomas Ellis's only son, Thomas Ellis, Jr., 
married and settled in Carolina, where, by his ex- 
tra valance, he soon £Ot to the end of a verv larire 
estate, and died, leaving a widow in such indigent 
circumstances, that she was for years supported by 
the charity of the Circular Church in Charleston — 


to the support of which church, his grandmother, 
Mrs. Mary Ellis, had very liberally contributed of 
her abundance, for years before he was born. Here 
was a clear case in demonstration of the truth of that 
scripture injunction, given with promise: "Cast 
thy bread upon the waters ; for thou shalt find it 
after many days.'' 

Xone of Mrs. Ellis's descendants are now living 
in South Carolina. 

The sixth and youngest daughter of the Huguenot. 
Solomon Legate, and his English wife, was married 
to Mr. Peronneau, a son of the French Huguenot 
Peronneau, from whom some of the Peronneau 
family in Charleston are descended. Mrs. Peronneau 
died young, leaving but one daughter. 

Thomas Legare, youngest son of the Huguenot 
Legare, and the only child of his second wife, mar- 
ried Miss Jones. They had two sons, Samuel and 
Benjamin, and two daughters, Mrs. Somersal and 
Mrs. Baker. 

The descendants of Samuel and Benjamin Legare 
are very few, and live now mostly in other States. 

Mrs. Somersal had but one son, Mr. Thomas Som- 
ersal, whose only daughter Sarah Somersal, was 
married to Mr. William J. Grayson. 

Most of Mrs. Somersal's descendants live in 
Charleston, South Carolina; some of them now live 
in other States. 

Solomon Legare. the eldest son of the Huguenot 
Legare and his English wife, married Miss Mary 
Stock, a sister of Mr. Thomas Stock, whose descend- 
ants now live in Charleston, South Carolina. 


This lady had been brought up by a devotedly 
pious mother, and was herself a very pious woman. 
The moral and spiritual instructions of this affec- 
tionate and devoted mother, united with the kind 
but strict religious family discipline of her husband, 
most happily combined in training up their sons and 
daughters for usefulness in life. These parents were 
permitted to enjoy the happiness of seeing every one 
of their children become also hopefully pious at an 
earlv ajje. 

This lady died of spotted fever, which was then 
an epidemic in the town. "When Mrs. Legare per- 
ceived the purple spots appearing on her hands, she, 
with the utmost calmness called for her grave-clothes, 
and with the assistance of her nurse, dressed herself 
in them. She then had her family assembled around 
her bed, and showing them the certain sign of ap- 
proaching death, told them she had already prepared 
her body for interment, and recpiested that no one 
might be permitted to touch her after death, except- 
ing to lift and place her corpse in the cofftn. After 
this, she thanked her weeping loved ones for all 
their devotion to her, blessed them, and bade them a 
cheerful farewell. 

Her son, Thomas, asked her, "Dear mother, are 
you so willing to die?" To which she replied with 
a bright smile : " O, yes, my son ; for w Eve hath 
not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the 
heart of man, the things which God- hath prepared 
for them that love him V " 

Her bereaved husband survived her a few years. 
He was a man of great integrity of character. He 


joined the church at an early age, and lived up to 
the requirements of the law of God in his conduct 
among men; while yet, at the same time, he contin- 
ued for several years destitute of real piety of heart. In 
after years, Mr. Legare, speaking of this period of 
his life, said, " I lived at that time a complete Phar- 
isee, without even being conscious of it; for I was 
trying- to work out mv own salvation by good works 
and not dreaming that I was building on the wrong 
foundation, till God in mercy opened my spiritual 
eyes to see my mistake. I then experienced a sav- 
ing change of heart, and received Christ as my 
atoning sacrifice for sin, as well as my only hope of 

He died about the commencement of hostilities 
between the Colonies and Great Britain, when, true to 
the principles of cie'd and religious liberty, he was him- 
self a strong advocate of the act passed to oppose 
royal usurpation by force. His funeral teas the first 
at which the non-consumptive agreement went into 
full effect. 

The following obituary notice of the eldest son of 
the Huguenot Legare, shows in what light the family 
were regarded bv the community in which they 
lived : 

Crouch's South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, 
Xov. 2 2d, 1774, says: 

" Died in this Town, on Saturday last, Mr. Solo- 
mon Legare, a man of most remarkable integrity of 
character and unassembled piety, at the age of 
seventy-one years. His remains were attended to 


the Congregational Church on Sunday evening, by 
a numerous family and many of the most respectable 
inhabitants of this Town, where a short discourse 
was delivered suited to the occasion. 

" This was the first funeral at which the non-con- 
sumption agreement took place fully. Here neither 
'scarfs nor gloves were given ; the nearest relatives, 
(though as sincere mourners as those who shroud 
themselves in black,) appeared in their usual dress, 
with the exception of a hat-band or black ribbon. 

" They have the honor of being foremost in obedience 
to their Countrv's decrees, and of stemming the 
torrent of luxury and expense, which never appear 
so absurd as when they parade at the grave. 

u They have the thanks of every lover of his Coun- 
try, and it is to be hoped that so laudable an exam- 
ple will be universally followed, and that the wise 
agreements of the Grand Council of this Empire 
will ever have the fullest force of law." 

The five children of Solomon Legare and Mary 
Stock married as follows : 

Solomon Legare, the eldest son, married Miss 

Thomas Legare, the second son, married Miss 
Eliza Basnett. 

Daniel Legare, the third son, married Miss 

Mrs. John Freer, the eldest daughter, was married 
to Mr. John Freer, of John's Island, and died child- 

Mrs. Solomon Freer, the second daughter, was 
married to Mr. Solomon Freer, brother of Mr. John 


Mrs. Solomon Freer left two daughters, one of 
whom was married to Mr. Ralph Atmar, and has 
many descendants now living in South Carolina and 
other States. 

The youngest daughter of Mrs. Solomon Freer 
was married to Mr. Hendlen, and Mrs. Hendlen's 
daughter Sarah, was married to Mr. Thomas Ogier, 
an Englishman dy birth, but himself also a descend- 
ant of the French Huguenots. Mrs. Ogier has de- 
scendants now living in Charleston, South Carolina, 
in Pennsylvania and in Louisiana. 


The second son of the Huguenot, Solomon Legare 
and his English wife, married Miss Peronneau. 
From his dictatorial temper he was generally styled 
by his friends " Oliver Cromwell.'' But he was also 
a man noted for strict integrity of character, and 
was immovable as a rock when he believed him- 
self to be in the right. On one occasion, he was 
impanelled with a jury, where eleven men were 
opposed to him in making up their verdict for the 
court. Mr. Daniel Legare continued firm to the 
convictions of his conscience, and after starving 
with them (as was the custom at that time), for 
three days, he brought the whole eleven jurors 
over to his opinion. In allusion to this fact, he 
afterwards declared that he had never before met 
with eleven such obstinate men. 

Mr. Daniel Legare had three sons and two daugh- 
ters, as follows : 

Isaac LeLrare, who married, and lias a srreat many 
descendants now living under other names ; but the 
name of Legare is now almost extinct in this branch. 

Nathan Legare, the second son, married his cousin, 
Miss Barksdale, daughter of Mr. Thomas Barksdale, 
who was a grandson of the Huguenot Legare. 

Joseph Legare, the third son, married Miss Barks- 
dale, a sister of Mrs. Xathan Legare, and another 
daughter of Mr. Thomas Barksdale. Both of these 
brothers have many descendants now living, mostly 
bearing other names through marriages. 


Mrs. Scott left but one daughter, who died un- 

Mrs. Doughty, the second daughter, had two 
daughters, one of whom married Mr. James Mat- 
thews, and the other was married to Mr. Thomas 
Condy. Both sisters have descendants living. 

The descendants of Mr. Daniel Legare and his 
wife, Miss Peronneau, are numerous at the present 
day, as the family tree shows more fully to those 
interested, while these biographical sketches only 
descends to the fourth generation. 


In the above biographical sketches, we have given 
an account of the sons and daughters of the Hugue- 
not, Soloman Legare, and of whom they married, 
with life portraits of his two eldest sons, Solomon 
and Daniel. In continuation, we will now give some 
samples of the third generation, showing how the 
Huguenot spirit continued to be developed in some 
of his grandsons, and in what various ways Divine 
Providence led them personally into the exercise of 
faith and repentance, when they became Christians 
in heart, as well as by profession. 



Was the grandson of the Huguenot, and the eldest 
son of Solomon Legare, the second), and of his wife 
Mary Stock. In his youthful days he always paid 
great respect to sacred things, as he had been care- 
fully taught to do, and yet he was disposed to be 
very gay; and contrary to the advice of his parents, 
though with their consent, he married at an early 
age into a very fashionable and worldlv-minded 
family, from which source he experienced, in after 
life, some very severe trials. For these Huguenots 
considered true piety in the wife and mother of a family, 
an all important consideration. Therefore, in chos- 
ing a wife, they sought for one that would assist in 
training their children to be Christians. 

Mr. Legare was devotedly- attached to his wife, 
who came very near dvimr at the birth of her first 
child, on which occasion the old family nurse, Mrs. 
Parker, (a pious Dutch woman), spoke to him of the 
mercv of God in sparing the life of his beloved com- 
panion, and also of the new obligations and respon- 
sibilities which would in future devolve upon him as 
a parent. Though he had been very religiously 
educated by his parents and always felt great rever- 
ence for sacred things, yet up to this time he 
had never felt any personal concern about the salva- 
tion of his immortal soul. But now his heart was 


touched, and the solemn address of the old nurse 
made so serious an impression upon his mind that 
his spirit was troubled, and he walked out to a neigh- 
boring wood and there knelt down to pray. Scarcely 
had he given utterance to one petition, before the 
Lord gave him such a view of the innate depravity 
of his heart, as seen by the eye of God, that he be- 
came terrified at the lost and ruined condition of his 
soul, and, starting up from his kneeling posture, he 
cried aloud : " Lord, forgive me for this attempt to 
pray, and I will never make another !" So saying, he 
hastened back to his house. 

For several days his conviction of sin continued 
to give him almost insupportable anguish of mind, 
but at length he succeeded in throwing off his un- 
welcome convictions, and regained his usual ffayety 
of spirit. 

About two vears after, his wife died in odvinsr 
birth to another child, and this afflicting bereavement 
had the effect of brimnnir him to Christ. The work 
of conversion was instantaneous ; for, as soon as the 
sad tidings of his wife's death was conveyed to him 
he at once recognized the hand of his Heavenly 
Father's correcting love in the afflicting stroke, and 
with a broken and contrite heart, he bowed submis- 
sively to the will of God. From that hour to the 
day of his death, about twenty years after, he lived 
the consistent and earnest life of a Christian. But 
he was very unfortunate in business, and the worldly 
education which his wife's sister persisted in giving 
his only daughter, was a source of continual uneasi- 
ness to him. 


Mr. Legare never married again after his wife's 
death, and a maiden sister of his wife lived with him 
and brought up his daughter. This lady had a set- 
tled aversion to religion, and did evervthing in her 
power, seeretly, to counteract the pious instructions 
which Mr. Legare endeavored to impress upon his 
daughter's mind. Contrarv to his wishes and ex- 
press commands, Miss Owen also had her niece 
instructed in dancing, and then clandestinely con- 
veved the voting girl into scenes of dissipation. And 
thus, before the father was fully awake to the evil, 
his daughter was educated a thorough worldling. 

This daughter, Elizabeth, was his onlv child; at 
an earlv a£fe she was married to Dr. James Air, who 
died but a few months after their marriage. She 
had but one child by this marriage, James, who, also, 
afterwards became Dr. James Air; he afterwards 
married Miss Harriet Atkinson, by whom he had two 
daughters — Marv Eugenia Air, and Harriet Anger- 
onia Air. 

A vear or two after Dr. Air's death, his widow 
was married again to Col. Isaac Holmes, who had 
been her first lover, and who was a half-brother of 
Mr. John Bee Holmes, of Charleston, and a grand- 
son of Mr. Joseph Stanyarne, of John's Island. By 
this marriage Mrs. Holmes had four younger chil- 
dren, namely : Elizabeth, Emily, Isaac and Henry 

Mr. Henry Holmes, son of Col. Isaac Holmes and 
his wife Elizabeth Legare, married Miss Caroline 
Drayton. The name of Legare r is extinct in this 
branch of the family. 


A short time after Mrs. Holmes' second marriage, 
her father, Mr. Solomon Legare, died. When the 
dying father ascertained that the hour of his depar- 
ture was at hand, he exhibited such mental uneasi- 
ness, that his brother, Thomas, who was present, 
affectionately inquired if he felt doubtful of his 
interest in the atoning blood of Christ. To this 
question he replied : " Xo, my brother, I have a full 
assurance of my own safety in Christ, my Saviour ; 
but oh ! my daughter ! my daughter ! think you that 
it is an easy thin^ for a Christian father to die and 
leave his only child in the bondage of sin ?" 

Then turning to a servant he said : " Call Betsy 
to me, and tell her to bring the child with her." 
Mrs. Holmes entered the room and went to the bed- 
side of her dying father, who took her hand between 

«. CD ' 

his own, and in the most solemn and affecting man- 
ner, urged her to turn from a life of pride and vanity, 
to Christ, the only true source of happiness. He 
also, most impressively charged her respecting the 
education of her son, and taking the little James 
Air into his arms, kissed and blessed him. After 
which he clasped his hands together, and looking 
upward, he cried out with a strong voice : " Xow, 
Lord Jesus, cut this work short!" and instantly 
expired, in the fifty-fourth year of his age. 


The second son of Solomon Lesrare and Mary Stock, 
was first brought under conviction of sin at the early 
age of seven years ; these convictions never again 
entirely wore off, though he was at some times more 
seriously impressed than at others. At the age of 
fifteen he experienced a saving change of heart, after 
having vainly endeavored for several vears, to work 
out his own salvation by good works. At this time 
he entered into a solemn but secret covenant with 
God, to devote himself and all that he had to the 
service of God, in a life of Christian usefulness and 
faithfulness. But he did not then come forward and 
unite himself with the visible Church of Christ, bv 
a public profession, as in after years, he thought and 
said he should have done at that time, because of 
his youthful age. Yet, even then, he was regarded 
by all who knew him, as a decidedly pious boy. 

At the age of eighteen years he became attached 
to Miss Eliza Basnett, a verv vounsr and beautiful 
girl, who was the only child of John Basnett, Esq., 
an English crentleman sent out to Carolina bv George 
Ill, as Master in Chancery, which office he 
held for many years in Charleston. Mr. Basnett 
lived to old age, universally respected as an upright, 
amiable and very benevolent gentleman. His great- 
grandson, the Hon. Hugh Swinton Legare, during 
his practice of law, was engaged in winding up sev- 
eral cases in chancery, which were first brought 


before his great-grandfather, more than one hundred 
years before. 

Mr. Basnett lost his wife while his daughter was 
very young, and he never married again, but com- 
mitted the care of his daughter's education to a 
worthy Irish lady, Miss Mary Glade, who had come 
out to Carolina with Mrs. Basnett as a companion. 
This lady was advanced in life," and devotedly 
attached to the little motherless Eliza, who was 
taught to love and respect her as a parent. Such 
was the female friend who, with judicious kindness, 
trained Eliza Basnett up to womanhood under her 
father's roof. She was, also, the darling and pet of 
her father, who thought nothing too costly to be 
lavished upon her, which she could desire, or his 
wealth could obtain. Yet, though thus indulged 
and petted, jvliza Basnett had never been taught her 
need of a Saviour, as a sinner, or her responsibility 
to God as a woman. It is true that the best moral 
principles had been instilled into her mind, both by 
Miss Glado and her father ; for he was a high-toned 
moralist, though he was a Deist in his religious 
views. But, though Mr. Basnett professed to be 
himself a Deist, he never attempted to make his 
daughter one. Still, she was educated altogether 
for this world, and partook freely of its pleasures 
and gayeties, while the only religious instruction 
she received, was in her attendance on public wor- < 
ship at the Episcopal Church once every Sabbath. 
Thus, as she afterwards said, she had grown up to 
womanhood in a Christian land, without having ever 
been taught the way of salvation. 


Such was Eliza Basnett at fifteen years of age, 
when the youthful Thomas Legare first placed his 
affections upon her, and for a time, he seems to have 
been so absorbed by his passion for her, that he 
never paused to consider the circumstances which 
apparently unfitted her for becoming his wife, accord- 
ing to the views which he had imbibed as a serious 
Huguenot Christian. But it is said that " Matches 
are made in Heaven,'' and, judging by the results of 
this union, we certainly think that this match was 
first ordered and made there, before it was consum- 
mated on earth. 

Mr. Legare afterwards said, that his love for her 
was so irresistible, that, for a season, he was drawn 
into a course of conduct which was at variance with 
the dictates of his conscience. For, in order to 
enjoy Miss Basnett's society and to accompany her, 
he frequented scenes of gayety tor which he had no 
taste, and there mingled with the frivolous votaries of 
fashionable follies which his soul loathed. Ever and 
anon his conscience reproachfully told him that he 
was thus losing and wasting precious time, and also 
cheating his immortal soul out of that intellectual 
culture for which he thirsted, for the attainment of 
which he was then surrounded by the most propi- 
tious circumstances in life; and that he was thus 
actually unfitting himself for those more elevating 
and ennobling pursuits in life which he felt that a 
merciful Creator had designed him to engage in. 
Notwithstanding these thoughts, he still continued 
spell-bound by the fascinating attractions of his lady- 
love, and resisted the convictions of his judgment. 


After pursuing this course for some time, as lie 
was returning home from a dancing party one even- 
ing, to which he had accompanied Miss Basnett and 
others, he fell into a very serious train of thought 
on this subject While thus engaged in a thought- 
ful review of his past conduct, he found the follow- 
ing inquiry propounded to his mind with great power : 

"Will this manner of life answer for you?" 

His soul instantly responded : 

" Alas ! it will not, for it is at variance with mv 
better principles, and, God helping me with bis 
grace to withstand temptation to the contrary, I will 
put a stop to it at once!" From that hour he 
resolved to follow Christ fall, at any and every sac- 
rifice, cost what it might. 

He then communicated to his parents the fact of 
his deep and long attachment to Miss Basnett. and 
told them, in confidence, of the mental struggle which 
was wringing his heart with anguish, for lie felt that 
he must give up the hope of marrying the object of 
his devoted and cherished affection. Brought up as 
she had been, without any sound religious instruc- 
tion, her father a Deist in principle, and she accus- 
tomed to live in a constant round of fashionable 
amusement and worldly pleasure, how could he ex- 
pect her to give up all this for him, and to conform 
herself to the strictly religious principles and quiet 
life of a Bible Christian, such as he felt his wife 
must be ? Again, how could such an one assist him 
in training up a family for the service of God? 
Lastly ; his principles as a ** Huguenot" required him 
to marry according to the injunction of Scrip- 
ture : " Onlv in the Lord." 


His parents, while tliey greatly admired the young 
lady, objected to the connection for the same reasons, 
and they tenderly advised him to try and overcome 
his affection for her. The disapprobation of his 
father and mother, together with the scruples of 
his own mind, induced him for some time to strug- 
gle against his love for Miss Basnett, who was sur- 
rounded by other admirers and suitors, and, at last, 
he absented himself altogether from her society; 
but all in vain, his affection for her rather increased 
than diminished while he continued to absent 
himself from her presence. 

At length, one moonlight evening he was taking a 
solitary walk at the end of Meeting Street, which was 
at that time called White Point, and is now known 
as the South Batterv, and thinking over his secret 
heart sorrow, when a youthful party of his acquaint- 
ances, who were also on their way to inhale the salt 
breeze from the ocean, approached the spot where 
he stood watching the moonbeams as they played 
upon the rippling waters. Among the group he 
recognized the voice of his loved Eliza, who was 
then too near tor him to retreat without being seen 
and recognized by her. At this moment his throb- 
bing heart whispered : k% AVho knows but what I 
may win her to Christ if she becomes my wife ?" 
The persuasion was so strong in his mind that thus 
it would indeed be, that he immediately joined the 
party of young people, and renewed his attentions to 
Miss Basnett on the spot. 

The next day he made known his determination 
to his parents, and told them of his intention of 


addressing Miss Basnett immediately, to which they 

A few days after, Mr. Leg-are made a proposal of 
marriage to Miss Basnett — in doing which, he can- 
didly acquainted her with the whole history of his 
love for her, told her of all the religious scruples he 
had felt in prospect of being united with her in mar- 
riage, and how he had struggled to overcome his 
affection for her, until the hope arose in his heart 
that he might succeed in winning her to Christ if 
she should become his wife. And then he asked her 
if she could and would resign the gay world, with all 
its attractions and unsatisfying pleasures for his sake, 
and become such a wife as a Christian man ought 
to wed. 

Mr. Legare's suit was accepted, for Miss Basnett 
had from the first preferred him to all of her other 
suitors, and she now acknowledged to him that his 
conversations with her on the subject of religion had 
made a deep impression on her mind. Also, that 
she had secretly reverenced and loved him for those 
very points in his character which he had feared 
would prove a barrier to their union. In short, Miss 
Basnett promised Mr. Legare to give up the gay 
world; to attend his church with him constantly, 
and to conform her conduct to the dictates of his 
conscience in all of their family arrangements, after 
she should become his wife. All of which she after- 
wards faithfully performed, and to the dav of her 
death, many years after, she ever made him a most 
dutiful and affectionate wife, while, as a mother, she 
had few equals. Yet, though Mrs. Legare strictly 


conformed to all of her husband's religious family 
rules in the training of their children, and never was 
known to exercise any influence in her family con- 
trary to his principles, she did not herself become a 
professor of religion for some years after her mar- 
riage. But when she did make that public profes- 
sion of her faith in Christ, she was recognized as a 
bright and shining light in the Church of Christ, by 
all who knew her : and after her death, an account 
of her Christian life and happy death was published 
in some of the English and Scotch magazines. 

The following is an extract from a manuscript now 
nearly a hundred years old: 

" Mrs. Eliza Basnett Legare was born in Charles- 
ton, Oct. 29th, 1734, and was baptized by Rev. Mr. 
Dwight. She was the only surviving child of John 
Basnett, Esq., who was Master in Chancery, and 
came from England to this Province. Eliza Basnett 
was married to Mr. Thomas Legare on the 14th of 
June, 1753. They had thirteen -children, only four 
of whom survived them. She departed this life on 
Feb. 5th, 1798, aged sixty-three years. An account 
of the remarkably serene and triumphant death of 
Mrs. Eliza Basnett Legare. has been published in 
the London Ei:angelical Magazine" 

The Rev. George Whitefield, the world-renowned 
preacher of that day, was an intimate friend of Mr. 
Thomas Legare, and he often preached in the old 
Congregational (Circular) Church during his visits 
to Charleston. Mrs. Legare always took great pleas- 
ure in hearing Mr. Whitefield preach; and on 
several occasions, when quite a gay young girl, she 


had gone to hear a sermon from him in preference 
to attending her dancing school, so much was she 
pleased with his eloquence. At this time. Mrs. Le- 
gare was just recovering from a lit of extreme illnes, 
but having heard that Mr. WTiitetield was, on that 
Sabbath morning, to preach hte last sermon hi Charles- 
ton, she expressed a great desire to go to church and 
hear that farewell sermon. The 'lay being very cold, 
and her health so feeble, her husband, who was 
always very careful of her, refused his consent to her 
leaving the house — upon which refusal she began to 
weep. The old family nurse, who had been for 
weeks in charge of Mrs. Legare, on seeing: her dis- 
tress, said to Mr. Legare: "La, sir; how do you 
know but what this great desire to hear the Word 
preached, may be God's work? Let her go well 
wrapped up from the cold !*' To which Mr. Legare 
replied: " Well, Mrs. Parker, if you think she may 
safely venture to church, I will not farther object to 
her going." 

Under that sermon from Mr. Whitefield, Mrs. 
Legare was brought, for the first time, to feel the 
deepest convictions of sin ; and, though she was 
naturally of a remarkably cheerful disposition, she 
continued for three months after this, in anguish of 
soul, fearing that she was eternally lost. At length, 
one Sabbath morning, her husband, finding that she 
did not come down stairs as usual, to go with him to 
church, went to her bed-room in quest of her, and 
there he saw her seated in tearless despair. She 
refused to go to church, saying, that every sermon 
she heard only increased her damnation. Mr. Le- 


gare seated himself by her side and talked to her of 
Christ's love for dying sinners, till she began to 
weep ; and then he persuaded her to accompany him 
to church. She did so, and heard Rev. Dr. Percy 
preach from these words : ; - 1 will give him a white 
stone, and in the stone a new name written, which 
no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it." Rev. 
ii: 17. 

After service, Mr. Legare handed his wife into 
her carriage, along with their children, but walked 
home himself. On entering his house, he found her, 
to his surprise, calm and smiling and looking up 
into his face, she said : "O! my husband! I have 
that 'white stone with a new name written in it,' — I 
have found my Saviour!" 

Mrs. Legare lived many years after this a cheerful 
and consistent Christian, who never again felt a 
doubt of her own personal salvation ; on the contrary 
she enjoyed a full assurance to the end of her life. 
She was seldom, however, heard to speak of her own 
spiritual exercises to any one but bur husband, until 
her last sickness; when her lips were wonderfully 
opened to speak the praises of her God. 

After a protracted illness of two years* continu- 
ance, she was death struck on a Thursday, and was 
dying slowly till the following Monday, during 
which time her physical sufferings were intense. 
Her breathing was extremely difficult, and her 
extremities were entirely dead for two days before 
the breath left her body ; but her soul was perfectly 
serene and peaceful through it all. On Sunday she 


had all her family assembled around her bed, and 
requested them to sing Dr. Watts' 17th Psalm. 

" Lord, I am thine, but thou wilt prove 
My faith, my patience, and my love ; 
"When men of spite against me join, 
They are the sword — the hand is thine. 

Their hope and portion lie below, 

'Tis all the happiness they know ; 

'Tis all they seek ; they take their shares, 

And leave the rest among their heirs. 

"What sinners value. I resign ; 

Lord, 'tis enough that thou art mine : — 

I shall behold thy blissful face, 

And stand complete in righteousness. 

This life's a dream, an empty show ; 
But the bright world to which I go, 
Hath joys substantial and sincere : — 
"When shall I wake and find me there? 

glorious hour ! O blest ab >de ! 

1 shall be near and like my God ; 
And flesh and sin no more control 
The sacred pleasures of my soul. 

My flesh shall slumber in the ground. 
Till the last trumpets joyful sound : 
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise, 
And in my Saviour's image rise.'' 

Some time after, her son James, observing how 
great her sufferings were, asked : kt Dear mother, 
how are you now ?" to which she replied : " Suffer- 
ing greatly in the body, my son." Bursting into 
tears, he answered : "True, dear mother, but your 
precious Saviour suffered more for you." With 
brightening eyes she responded : " yes, my son ; 
O ves !" 


The next day, her husband said to her ; i% I per- 
eeive, my dear wife, that the struggle is nearly over ; 
you have always been very tearful on the waters of 
the Ashley river: but, tell me how it is now in the 
waters of Jordan ?" " O, I do not fear," she replied, 
" for my Saviour is with me, and will earry me 
safely through." Shortv after she fell gentlv "asleep 
in Jesus,"' aged sixtv-three vears, A. D. 1798. 

Mr. Legare had ever been a most devoted and 
affectionate husband, yet he was wonderfully sus- 
tained under this heartfelt bereavement, and his de- 
portment was calm and submissive. As he was 
about to leave the chamber of death, he heard the 
physieian, Dr. McCalla, who had witnessed the elos- 
ing scene, expressing to Mrs. Legare's son, James, 
his surprise at the calmness, fortitude and peaceful 
hope, with which the departed saint had met and 
passed through death. He said : " I have been 
upon the field of battle, and have seen men die 
there. I have stood beside death-beds under almost 
all circumstances, but never before have I seen one 
die like her. To think how such a feeble, emaciated 
lingering sufferer could so deliberately, calmly and 
joyfully meet and yield to death, is unaccountable to 

At that moment Mr. Legare approached, and, 
hearing the remark, replied : " Can you not under- 
stand, Doctor, how this can be ? Then go to Mount 
Calvarv, and there learn how a sinner saved bv 
grace can die thus." Having said this, the bereaved 
husband passed on to his lonely room to seek there 
in prayer the sympathy of his God under the heart- 
rending affliction. 


Br. McCalla went down stairs, and as he opened 
the street door Col. Joshua Ward entered and asked 
how Mrs. Legare then was. « She has just expired, 
sir," replied the doctor. « Ah !" said Col. Ward, 
u and how does Mr. Legare hear the hlow ?" " Won- 
derfully supported," was the reply. " Yes, I sup- 
pose so," said the other, « for he is a good deal of a 
philosopher." « Philosopher! philosopher! ah. sir, 
depend upon it. there is more than philosophy there."' 
answered the doctor, as he departed with tearful 
eyes. This scene in the house of mourning was 
blest to the conversion of the physician, who up to 
this time was a great skeptic, but was thus led to 
seek for himself an interest in the atoning blood and 
righteousness of Christ. 

When Mr. Legare lirst experienced a saving 
change of heart he was but fifteen years of age. and 
at that time, supposed himself to be too young to 
take such solemn obligations upon himself as were 
involved in a public profession of religion. He 
afterwards said that he had committed a great error 
in so thinking and acting — an error, the result of 
which was, that he could never again see his wav 
clear enough to approach the communion table of 
his Lord, for thirty-five years after he became a 

Yet he was all through life respected by others as 
a consistent and devoted child of God, who frowned 
down impiety with a powerful influence, whenever 
it was developed in the conduct and conversation of 
those with whom he associated. He was also a man 
of such sound judgment and integrity of character, 


that he was frequently appealed to for advice in tem- 
poral matters, and appointed sole arbitrator in set- 
tling disputes among his neighbors. So deeply 
learned was he in the Scriptures of truth, and well 
acquainted with the principles of human nature, that 
he was consulted far and near, in cases of conscience, 
and also summoned to attend the sick and dying, 
both to direct the alarmed sinner to the cross of 
Christ, as well as to administer the consolations of 
the gospel to those that needed them. 

But, though his piety was of such a deep and 
decided tone, and though he could administer the 
balm of consolation to other contrite mourners, he 
was ever " writing bitter things against himself." 
And he often endured such strong temptations, that 
he was frequently in the depths of spiritual distress. 
Several times when his wife and children were try- 
ing to comfort him under those strong temptations, 
he said to them: "Xever do you ask God to give 
you a view of the whole depravity of your heart, for 
it is a sight which vou cannot bear. I once asked 
God to show me rav heart as it was in his sight, and 
he answered the prayer by giving me a view which 
has ever since crushed me under the weight of rnv 
sins. Only ask for such a view of your sinfulness 
by nature, as will serve to keep you humble before 
God, without overwhelming vour soul with anguish 
such as I have endured/" 

Ministers and private Christians often urged him 
to unite with the visible Church of Christ in cele- 
brating the dying love of Christ, but his constant 
reply was : "lam too great a sinner ; I fear to dis- 


honor my Master's cause, by proving unfaithful in 
the discharge of duty." The Rev. George "White- 
field, with whom he was personally intimate, on one 
occasion sat bv him for hours trying to convince him 
that it was his duty before God to unite with the 
Church in receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper, assuring him that there could be no doubt 
of his being a precious child of God. But at last, 
finding Mr. Legare still persisting in denouncing 
himself as too unworthy a sinner to make the ven- 
ture, Mr. Whitefield started up exclaiming in his 
own peculiar way : " Well, well, my friend, if you 
will be damned, though Christ has died to save you, 
then go on' fighting and striving to the end, and 
hell will be all the cooler for it at last !" This speech 
had an electrical effect upon Mr. Legare's mind, for 
he instantly perceived that his verv struggles against 
sin was evidence of his being in a gracious state. 
And, not Ions? after, he saw his wav clear to go for- 
ward and receive the sacrament of the Lord's 

Mr. Legare had been for thirty years before this, so 
identified with the cause of Christ in the minds of 
others, that his advice and counsel in spiritual things 
were often sought even by the pastors of his church, 
as well as bv its deacons and other members. AVhile, 
at the same time, he was himself so under the influ- 
ence of constitutional despondency, that he was con- 
stantly fearing and doubting whether he was person- 
ally entitled to the blessings of the covenant of grace. 
At length one Friday afternoon, during the sermon 
preached preparatory to the administration of the 


sacrament of the Lord's Supper on the following 
Sabbath, Mr. Legare felt so powerfully urged to 
unite with the church, that as soon as the church 
service was closed, he walked up to the pastor and 
offered himself as a candidate for admission to the 
table of his Lord. Dr. Keith immediately sum- 
moned the deacons to his side, and made known to 
them the decision of Mr. Legare, and, rejoicing that 
one whom they considered so eminently a child of 
God, had at last resolved to make this public pro- 
fession of faith in Christ as his duty to the church, 
thev all immediately stretched out to him the hand 
of fellowship, and welcomed him into the church 
with joy. So Sudden was Mr. Legare's determina- 
tion and action, that his own wife was ignorant of it 
till after the business was concluded. This was soon 
followed by the public profession of several others 
in the congregation, who testified that they had 
hitherto been restrained from thus doing their duty 
by Mr. Legare's example, feeling, that if so good a 
man held back, they were far less worthy to approach 
the table of the Lord. After Mr. Legare had thus 
united with the church, we hear nothing more of his 
falling into such distressing temptations and deep 
despondency, and his usefulness in the church and 
in the world became greater than ever it had been 

Doubtless such desponding views in one who evi- 
dently lived a life of holiness, will seem very strange 
and unaccountable to those who are themselves 
strangers to the depths of the human heart, and to 
the devices of Satan, who is often permitted to assail 


God's choicest servants and dearest children, with a 
force and power of temptation, which well nigh 
crushes them for a season into utter despondency, 
and which those who have never been thus exercised 
can form no conception of. Witness Job and his 
friends as narrated in scripture, Martin Luther and 
others, as we read in modern history. 

The wisdom of God ordains that it should be thus 
with them, nor may we doubt that such a dispensa- 
tion involves in it purposes of love and mercy 
towards the soul thus exercised, though God's 
reasons for it may be concealed from us short-sighted 
creatures. In some instances, these bufferings of 
the enemv mav be needful for the eminently useful, 
whose hearts are disposed to foster spiritual pride, 
or there may be some other constitutional evil, or 
weakness for which it may serve as a corrective. 
But, in general, these dark and desponding views in 
a Christian arise, either from a constitutional ten- 
dency to melancholy, or from a want of well bal- 
anced conceptions of the plan of salvation and the 
doctrines of redemption. 

• Particularly this is the case when a Christian is 
forever dwelling on the evil of sin as developed in 
his own heart and practice, without lifting the eye 
of faith to the onlv antidote for sin, the blood of 
Christ crucified, and is looking for that in his own 
heart which is only to be found in the righteousness 
of Christ, imputed to us as our only plea for justifi- 
cation before God. Is it any wonder that such are 
overwhelmed with fear, or that they seem at times 
almost to despair of mercy from the heart-searching 


and veins-trying Jehovah, in whose si^ht the verv 
heavens are not clean ? That is not genuine humil- 
itv, though it wears the garb and assumes the name 
which makes a sinner cry : " I am too sinful to be 
saved." It is rather the fruit of a legal spirit in a 
heart too proud to be saved by grace alone. For 
" The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin :" I John, 
1 : 7. And " saves them to the uttermost that come 
unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make 
intercession for them." Ileb. 7 : 25. 

In Mr. Legare's case there was a natural tendency 
to melancholy, and the tempter was permitted to 
assail his soul through this constitutional infirmity, 
and by means of it to cloud and darken his mind at 
times to a great degree, but never succeeded in de- 
stroying his influence as a Christian, for the irreli- 
gious and profane alike respected his character, and 
feared his censure. 

Col. J. W , who had contracted a habit of 

swearing and uttering oaths in conversation, on his 
return from Europe called to visit Mr. Legare's fam- 
ily, and out of respect to his well known piety, 
endeavored to omit the use of his oaths while in Mr. 
Legare's presence. But from the force of habit 
repeatedly caught himself in the act of swearing, 
and as often, apologized for so doing. At length 
Mr. Legare replied with great solemnity : " Cease, 
sir, from offering me apologies for the insults you 
are heaping upon your Creator ! The Command- 
ment says, * Thou shalt not take the name of the 
Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold 
him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.'" The 
reproof was felt and the swearer silenced. 


Mr. Thomas Legare was instrumental in the con- 
version of Mr. Bernard Elliott, from the deistieal 
sentiments that he had imbibed early in life, and did 
not hesitate to profess openly. Mr. Legare was one 
day on a visit to the Elliott family, when the conver- 
sation turned on the truths of revealed religion. The 
Rev. Dr. Percy, (the brother-in-law of Mr. Elliott), 
had often conversed with Mr. Elliott on this subject 
without convincing the Deist by his arguments that 
his views were erroneous, and being present on this 
occasion, Dr. Percy led the conversation to this 
point and then withdrew from it in silence, leaving 
Mr. Elliott to discuss the subject with Mr. Lesrare. 
After a long debate in which Mr. Legare met Mr. 
Elliott's deistieal sentiments and arguments with 
confuting passages from the scriptures, he left the 

Some weeks after, Mr. Elliott was taken ill and 
Mr. Legare was summoned to attend his death-bed. 
On his arrival there, Mr. Elliott thus addressed him : 
" I have sent for vou, Mr. Leo-are, to tell vou that 
the conversation I had with you some weeks since, 
has been the means of enlightening my mind to the 
truth of revelation, and convinced me of the Divinity 
of Christ. Your arguments confounded me, and 
the passages of scripture which you referred to con- 
vinced my mind. Thus I have been led to embrace 
the doctrines of Christ, my Saviour, and I am now 
dying happy in the Lord. 0, sir, I shall meet and 
rejoice with you in Heaven !" 

During the life of Mr. Thomas Legare occurred 
the scenes of the Revolutionary war with Great 


Britain, in which he proved himself to be also a 
zealous patriot and a good soldier — his two eldest 
sons, John and James, also served in the army as 
commissioned officers, at a very early age. An old 
record says of him : 

" Thomas Lesrare, the grandson f the Huguenot, 
and the second son of Solomon Legare and his wife, 
Mary Stock, was one of the faithful few who, at the 
darkest period of our history, with a Roman firm- 
ness, refused to submit even when farther resistance 
seemed hopeless. He was a man of a most superior 
judgment, of inflexible integrity and courage, an 
excellent theologian and an exemplary Christian. 
He was one of the i Council of Safety * during the 
Revolution, and was for many years 'member of 
Assembly. ' " 

Thomas Legare and his wife Eliza Basnett, had 
thirteen children — only six of them lived to mature 

John Legare, the eldest, died young, unmarried. 

James Legare married Miss Mary Wilkinson. 

Thomas Le°;are married Miss Ann Eliza Berwick. 

Solomon Legare married Miss Mary Swinton. 

Catharine Legare was married to Rev. J. S. Keith, 
D. D. 

Marv Legare was married to Mr. Kinsev Burden. 

All of the above named, married children of Mr. 
Thomas Legare and his wife, Eliza Basnett, except- 
ing Mrs. Keith, left large families, and more of their 
descendants still bear the name of Legare, than in 
any other branch of the Huguenot's family. 


Mr. Solomon Legare, the Huguenot, had a great 
manv of his descendants ensealed in the Revolution- 
arv stru^le with Great Britain : his three sons, Sol- 
omon, Daniel, and Thomas; his eight grandsons, 
Solomon, Thomas, Daniel, Isaac, Joseph, Xathan, 
Benjamin and Samuel ; his three great-grandsons, 
John, James and Joseph; all of these fourteen bear- 
ing the name of Legare, and several of them held 
commissions in the American army. Besides these, 
a number of his grandsons not bearing the name of 
Legare, who were the sons of his daughters and 
crrand-dauirhters, making a total of thirty-two men 
who bore arms, and were engaged in lighting for 
the liberties of their country during that time which 
" tried men's souls." 

The following narrative of facts which occurred 
during that season of trial, was written out nearly 
forty years ago by the same individual who now pens 
these lines. And what is here related is in no 
degree fiction, but is a simple statement of scenes 
and events as they occurred, received from the lips 
of individuals who were in their childhood and youth, 
either themselves actors in, or ear and eye witnesses 
of the scenes herein portrayed. This narrative may. 
therefore be relied upon as an authentic history of 
some of the trials which our ancestors endured in 
their struggle for political freedom from foreign 
domination and oppression, which struggle ended, 
after a seven years' war, in the establishment of the 
independence of the United States of America. The 
scenes herein delineated were enacted chiefly on 
John's Island, in Charleston and in the surrounding 


country of South Carolina, and the above named 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Legare were very prominent 
personages in many of these scenes. 

Mr. Legare's family, like many others, suffered 
much from the depredations of the British soldierv, 
and had other protracted and bitter trials to endure, 
but the providence of God was manifested frequently 
in a very remarkable manner for their relief, protec- 
tion and deliverance. Many of these occurrences 
and emergencies are worthy of being cherished in 
the memory of his descendants, as illustrative of the 
energy and integrity of his character under severe 
temptations, as well as demonstrative of that great 
faith in his covenant God, which sustained him in 
the severest straits. Besides this, these wonderful 
special providences in the time of need, area power- 
ful testimony to the faithfulness of God in helping 
and preserving all those who put their trust in Him. 






Very soon after the commencement of hostilities 
between the Colonies of Great Britain in North 
America and the British Government, a militia com- 
pany composed of gentlemen, who were planters on 
John's Island, was ordered down to Chaplin's Point, 
on the Kiawah river, near Stono inlet, to keep a look- 
out guard on that portion of the coast. All remain- 
ing in quiet and safety, they, after some weeks, sent 
an invitation to their families and others on the 
Island, to spend a day with them at their encamp- 
ment, which invitation was accepted by all the ladies 
excepting Mrs. Thomas Legare, who declined to be 
one of the party, saying that she felt too sad for 

As yet, the good folks of John's Island knew 
nothing of the horrors of war, except from hearsay, 
and the anticipated excursion was regarded by most 
of them as a frolic, for which every matron prepared 
the most choice refreshments that well-stocked store- 
rooms and pantries could produce. And all these 
" good things," were sent ahead of them in wagons 
to Chaplin's Poiut, to await their arrival at the 


The road to Chaplin's Point passed through Mr. 
Thomas Legare's plantation, and as each family 
drove by the house, one after another stopped for a 
few moments to persuade Mrs. Legare to change her 
mind and to accompany them, but all in vain. At 
last 'Mrs. William Stanyarne and her daughters 
drove up to the steps, and urged Mrs. Legare to go 
with them, saying : "We are going to have a regu- 
lar 'merry-make' at the Point to-day.'* Mrs. Le- 
gare replied: "Surely, Mrs. Stanyarne, this is no 
time for merriment, while our country is in such dis- 
tress, and our families are exposed to so much dan- 
ger ! Both my husband and my sons are absent, 
engaged in the service of their country, and, for 
aught that we know to the contrary, they may at this 
very time be in danger from the enemy. Indeed, I 
have no heart for a frolic." Mrs. Stanyarne gayly 
responded: " O my good lady ! I too have a son in 
the army, but I am such a patriot that I have been 
wishing my four daughters were all sons, that 
they also might go and fight the battles of their 
country.*" So saying, the whole party drove off 
from the door in high glee. 

But in less than two hours after, the whole caval- 
cade was seen returning at full speed, and among 
the first came Mrs. William Stanvarne, exclaiming, 
in a terrified tone, as she passed the house: k ' Oh, 
Mrs. Legare, we are all lost !" 

Close behind came another and another chaise in 
rapid succession, with their attendant equestrians — 
all rushing by in Jehu-style, and every individual 
apparently in such consternation that no one among 


them could be induced to stop long enough to 
answer Mrs. Legatee's importunate cry of—" Tell me, 
for Heaven's sake! what is the matter?" Last of 
all came Mrs. St. John and her family, and this 
lady, who was less frightened than the others, 
stopped to tell Mm Legare that the ladies had been 
alarmed by seeing two boats putting in from sea, and 
one of them evidently in pursuit of the other; that 
they supposed the foremost boat to be their husbands 
returning from scouting, and the hindmost one to 
be the British in pursuit of them. At which sis;ht, 
the ladies had been seized with a panic and hurried 
off to their homes. Mrs. St. John added: "And 
after all, it may be a false alarm ?" 

Such it proved to be. For the gentlemen return- 
ing from their post of observation at the mouth of 
Stono Inlet, had seen a boat manned with negroes 
in advance of their own, and for their own amuse- 
ment, pretending to be the British, had chased the 
boat tilled with negroes, who, becoming alarmed 
at the pursuit pulled hard at their oars to escape. It 
was this race that the ladies had seen and taken 
fright at. And when the gentlemen reached their 
station at Chaplin's Point, they found a feast spread 
for their entertainment consisting of the best and 
richest dishes, but to their great disappointment, not 
one of their invited guests could be seen or found, 
and even their negro servants had vanished out of 
sight for fear of the British. 

Some time after this the British troops actually 
landed on Simon's Island, (now called Seabrook's 
Island), from which John's Island is separated on 


the south-west only by a creek. Here another 
amusing incident occurred, which beguiled the 
enemy into the belief that the Island was defended 
by a large body of soldiers, which was exactly the 
reverse of the truth in the case. 

It must be borne in mind that the Colonists had no 
regular army of their own, as the British crovernment 
had at their command, and the armv which was col- 
lected and armed for their defence by the Colonists, 
was, at the commencement of the war, altogether com- 
posed of militia companies hastily enrolled. These 
companies consisted, not of men who were drilled 
and trained soldiers, but of men, who, at the call of 
their country, had left their several avocations in 
civil life to fight for their liberties. Even their offi- 
cers generally knew very little about military tactics, 
and consequently made many mistakes before their 
own experience had taught them the art of war. Yet it 
was to these very citizen soldiers that God eventually 
gave the victory, in their struggle for Independence 
from foreign domination and oppression. 

A company of about fifty such volunteer soldiers 
were stationed at the Presbyterian Church in the 
centre of the Island, and a scouting party had been 
sent by them to that point on John's Island which is 
nearest to Simon's Island, to watch from thence the 
movements of the enemy's vessels on the coast. 

This party of scouts had a seargant in command, 
whose icritten instructions were : That if the enemy 
attempted to land their troops on the beach at Si- 
mon's Island, thev should immediately fire their 
cannon as a signal to the inhabitants on the Island, 


and then retreat quickly to the main body of troops at 
the church. Accordingly, when the scouts saw the 
British ships commence landing their soldiers on 
Simon's Island, these Tyros in military warfare, not 
only fired their signal cannon, but retreated with 
fife and drum in full sound of the enemy's ears, 
thus informing them in what direction they were 
retreating. A party of the British were immediately 
sent in pursuit of the scouts, but had not proceeded 
far on their track when they picked up the written 
instructions which the scouts had dropped in their 
hasty retreat. The British officer supposing that 
"the main body of troops,"' spoken of in the instruc- 
tions, referred to a large body of troops in reserve at 
the church, hastily retreated back to their ships with 
his men, where they re-embarked and left the shore. 
But there were two concealed Tories then living on 
John's Island, and from them the British learned 
the real state of affairs. Accordingly, about two 
months after the British troops again lauded a forag- 
ing party on John's Island, and the alarm being 
given, most of the gentlemen hastened to remove 
their families to Charleston. Mr. Thomas Legare's 
plantation being some miles distant from Stono 
river, he drove his family down to MeCall's landing, 
which is the nearest point to the city, and his largest 
boat had been sent there to meet them, and convey 
them from thence to the city. 

Just as the family were seated in the carriages and 
about to leave their own house to go to McCall's 
landing, the overseer's wife, Mrs. Humphries, came 
to Mrs. Legare and asked what was to be done with 


the family plate and other valuables which they 
were leaving on the plantation. Mrs. Legare replied: 
" Indeed, Mrs. Humphries, I do not know ! Do what 
you can, hut I expect the British will be here pres- 
ently and will take everything from you." So say- 
ing they drove off as rapidly as they could to escape 

Mrs. Humphries immediately called two trusty 
servants, and with their assistance, she packed away 
in boxes all the silver and other valuables left in her 
care and then secretlv buried the boxes — thev three 
being the only persons to whom the place of con- 
cealment was known. And in that spot all these 
things remained in safety until the close of the war — 
the servants keeping the seeret ; though one of the 
negro men who had assisted Mrs. Humphries in 
burying the boxes afterwards joined the British and 
remained some time with them on the Island, yet he 
never betrayed the trust reposed in him on that 

An elderlv gentleman on John's Island, Mr. John 
Freer, who was too old for army service, had re- 
mained neutral. As such he took protection from 
the British Crown and then remained on John's 
Island as the protector of the ladies and children left 
there, while their fathers and brothers, husband- and 
sons, were en^a^ed in niditin^ for their country. 

Mr. Freer's tirst wife was Mr. Thomas Legare's 
sister, and a very warm friendship and affection ex- 
isted between these brothers-in-law all through their 
lives, though their opinions differed widely in some 
things. Mr. Freer believed it impossible for the 


Colonists to succeed in establishing their Independ- 
ence, but his sympathies were entirely with his 
oppressed countrymen. He had, at that time, a large 
family by his second marriage, and his son Charles 
served in the American army as soon as he was old 
enough to hear arms. 

But to return to Mr. Legare's family on their way 
to Charleston : They reached McCalPs landing in 
safetv, hut when thev were getting into the hoat to 
go on to the town, Mr. Legare discovered that his 
trunk of valuable papers was not in the hoat. This 
trunk of papers had been sent from the plantation 
along with other things, to Mr. Freer's house on the 
hanks of Abbepoola Creek, where Mr. Legare's 
boats were usually kept, in order to he removed to 
Charleston along with the family ; hut the servants 
had neglected in their hurry to put it in the boat. 
One of the hoat hands remembered that lie had seen 
the trunk in Mr. Freer's piazza. As soon as Mr. 
Legare ascertained this fact, he directed the family 
to await his return, mounted a swift horse and 
started off in pursuit of his trunk of papers. But 
he had not gone two miles before he met a negro 
man, who stopped him, saying: "Mas Legare, 
where are you going, the English are all at the 
meeting house, (now Presbyterian Church) and if 
you go, they will *ure to catch you!" 

Thus warned, Mr. Legare paused and asked : 
" Then will you carry a note to Mr. John Freer, for 

" Xo, sir; for the English will sarch me and take 
it from me. But thev can't make me talk if I don't 


choose to ; so, if you tell me what vou want, I'll «-o 
tell Mr. Freer." 

Mr. Legare replied : - That is true; go, then, and 
tell Mr. Freer, that I request him to take care of the 
trunk left in his piazza, containing my papers." 

Having said this, and given a reward to the neirro, 
Mr. Legare turned his horse's head and ran him 
back to MeCall's landing, hurried his family into the 

boat and crossed Stono river with all expedition 

intending to send back for his horses which were all 
left tied at MeCall's landing; but scarcely had the 
boat reached the opposite shore of the Stono, when 
they saw a squad of British soldiers ride down to 
the spot they had just left and take possession of all 
their horses. Of course, they pushed forward for 
Charleston with all expedition, and reached their 
destined port in safety. 

The negro sent to Mr. Freer faithfully performed 
the errand entrusted to him. The trunk of papers 
remained in Mr. Freer's possession till the close of 
the war, and would not have been equally safe any 
where else ; for nothing under his roof was ever 
meddled with by the British soldiers at any time 
during the war. 

The British only held possession of John's Island 
for a short time, and as soon as it was vacated by 
them the families of the planters returned to their 
plantations on it, and continued in quiet for a season ; 
but when General Prevost took possession of Wap- 
poo Cut and James Island, in the year 1779, their 
troubles commenced in earnest and continued to the 
close of the war. 


In the month of May, 1779, a company of Amer- 
ican militia, composed chiefly of the inhabitants of 

John's and the neighboring Islands, under the com- 
mand of Captain Benjamin Mathews, together with 
another company of the Port Royal militia, com- 
manded by Captain Robert Barnwell, wrere stationed 
at Raven's settlement, then owned by a grandson of 
the former, Mr. John Raven Mathews. Just a little 
north of them, on James* Island, was the encamp- 
ment of the British army, commanded hv General 

On the 20th of May, Captain Mathews marched 
his men down to the bank of the Stono and there 
paraded them in view of the enemy. Mr. Thomas 
Legare being one of the " Council of Safety," ven- 
tured a remonstrance with the Captain, on the im- 
prudence of what he was about to do, and he, not 
liking the interference, some sharp words passed be- 
tween the two, who were friends and neighbors on 
the Island. After the parade was over Mr. Legare 
addressed Captain Mathews thus: tk Well, Captain, 
you will know by to-morrow whether you have acted 
wisely or not. I tell you that the British on James 
Lsland have, with the aid of their glasses, counted 
every man vou have in vour ranks, and. despising 
the weakness of vour force, thev will cross the river 
to-night, surprise your sentinels and take you all 
prisoners of war. Xow, as I have no desire to fall 
so ingloriously into their hands. I request you to 
send me to join the guard at Chaplin's Point, imme- 
diately." After laughing at Mr. Le^are's * ; unneces- 
sary fears," as Captain Mathews termed this wise 


remonstrance, he consented to the proposal, and Mr. 
Legare left Ravenswood and went to join the Chap- 
lin's Point guard. But his son, Lieutenant James 
Legare, who had entered the American army as a 
commissioned officer, at the early age of sixteen, and 
was then a Lieutenant in that company, remained 
with Captain Mathews, and along with him and the 
rest, were that night surprised and taken prisoners 
by the British, just as Mr. Legare had predicted to 
Captain Mathews. 

Ramsay's Revolutionary History gives the follow- 
ing account of this affair : " While the British were 
encamped on James' Island, about seventy or eighty 
of the Americans were posted nearly opposite to 
them at the plantation of Mr. Mathews on John's 
Island. On the 20th of May, a party of the troops, 
commanded by General Prevost crossed the narrow 
river which separates the two islands, surprised the 
out-sentinel of the Americans and extorted from him 
the countersign. Possessed of the word, they ad- 
vanced to the second sentinel, surprised and bayo- 
netted him before he could give an alarm. Without 
being discovered they then surrounded the house of 
Mr. Mathews, rushed in on the unprepared Ameri- 
cans and put several of them, though they made no 
resistance, to the bayonet. Among the* rest, Mr. 
Robert Barnwell, a young gentleman who adorned 
a very respectable family by his many virtues, good 
understanding and sweetness of manner, received no 
less than seventeen wounds, but he had the good 
fortune to recover from them all, and still lives an 
ornament to his countrv. The British having com- 


pleted this business, burned the bouse of Mr. 

The ruins of this old brick building, which was 
the old Raven mansion, are still standing in a field 
owned by the family of Mr. Ivinsey Burden, deceased. 

The following particulars of the above named sur- 
prise and capture, were received in after years by 
the writer, from the lips of one of the officers and 
two of the private soldiers, who were present on the 
spot at the time of the surprise : They said that on 
the evening of the 20th of May, Mr. Thomas Fen- 
wick, a resident of John's Island, who was not as 
yet suspected of being a Tory, went to the Ravens- 
wood settlement on an apparently friendly visit to 
the militia officers and soldiers, who were his neigh- 
bors, and supped with them, and during the social 
and unsuspected intercourse and entertainment of the 
evening, he elicited many particulars, and, in taking- 
leave, he obtained the countersign for the night. 

The officers, stran^elv secure, considering the 
vicinity of the British, and the warning which Mr. 
Legare had given them, placed only two sentinels 
on oruard and then retired to rest themselves ; while 
the men, or a number of them, were distributed 
about among the various buildings of the plantation, 
and were all soon fast asleep. At midnight one 
party of the British approached silently from the 
river, having crossed it in boats, while another party, 
who had crossed to Fenwiek's plantation, three miles 
north of Ravenswood, advanced by land under the 
£uidance of the Torv Torn Fenwick, who thus re- 
turned to repay the hospitality and confidence of his 
unsuspecting neighbors. 


When the British appeared at the door of the 
apartment in which Captain Barnwell and a number 
of his men were, and demanded their surrender, 
Captain Barnwell called out to know what quarter 
they should have. " Xo quarter to rebels !" was the 
reply. " Then, men, defend yourselves to the last — 
Charge I" exclaimed Captain Barnwell. In an in- 
stant the " click " of every gun was heard, as it was 
presented in the faces of the enemy, who immedi- 
atelv fell hack. 


Presently, a sergeant of the British put his head 
into the room, saying : " Surrender yourselves pris- 
oners of war, and you shall have honorable quarter." 
" What grade do you hold, and what authority have 
you for the promise, if we accept the terms ?" 

" I am but a sergeant in command, but my word 
is as good as that of any officer in his Majesty's 

On this assurance, Captain Brrnwell and his men 
surrendered their arms, and then immediately the 
British soldiers commenced an attack upon them 
with their bayonets, wounding them cruelly, partic- 
ularly Barnwell and Barns, who were each pierced 
by seventeen bayonet wounds. 

A few of the men who were sleeping in the out- 
houses escaped; for, being awakened from their 
slumber by the noise, and finding out how the mat- 
ter stood, they made their escape to the woods 
before the British soldiers searched the out-houses 
of the plantation — in the doing of which they found 
some heavy sleepers, whom they took prisoners. 

Mr. Benjamin Reynolds, of Wadmalaw Island, 
was one of the few who escaped from the British on 


that occasion ; and the following humorous account 
. of his escape was given by him in the presence of 
the writer, alter he had become quite an old man. 
According to his statement of the affair, he was 
sleeping in a house that was some distance from the 
others, when he was aroused from sleep by the clash 
of arms, the shouts of the assailants, and the cries 
of the wounded, and guessing how the case stood, 
without waiting to dress himself or even to secure 
his weapons, he darted out of the house and ran to- 
wards the interior of the island, intending to return 
to his home on Wadmalaw Island. 

Mr. Reynolds was, at that time, verv voung and 
a stranger on John's Island. Before he had pro- 
ceeded tar lie met another American militiaman, 
whom he recognized as a fellow-soldier also making 
his escape from the British, and hoping to be directed 
or guided through the strange woods by him, he ap- 
proached to join company with hini. But to hi> 

farther consternation, Mr. , turned the muzzle 

of his gun towards him, exclaiming in the negro- 
dialect for which he was notorious : 

" Who you V 

" Ben. Reynolds ; do show me the way to the 
Bugbv Bridge." 

u Xo, you com yer, man ! you too white ; I shute 
you, if\ou cum close me; go way, go way, I tell 
you, you too white!" 

- " Then, for Heaven's sake ! tell me which way I 
must <£o!" 

" Follow your nose and keep dead ahead/' replied 
the other. 


"With this indefinite direction, Mr. Reynolds 
plunged into the woods, and about daylightfound 

himself in the Bugby swamp, with scarcely a vestige 
left upon his person of the white garment he had on 
when he left Kavenswood, and with his limbs bleed- 
ing from the scratches he had received from the 
briar bushes. 

After the surprise and capture of the militia com- 
panies at Kavenswood, the whole of John's Island was 
again left at the mercy of the British army, commu- 
nication with Charleston was cut off, and the iami- 
ilies of the planters, who had hitherto, spent the 
sickly months of the summer in Charleston, were 
now compelled to spend them on the plantations. 
All of the men taken prisoners at Ravenswood were 
removed to the British Camp, but the rest of the 
male residents found on the Island were paroled to 
their plantations under the penalty of death, if 
known to go beyond their boundaries. Small de- 
tachments of British soldiers were distributed about 
the Island in every direction, and kept a strict watch 
over it, and at the same time, they made excursions 
in every quarter, searching for plunder, and seizin** 
for themselves whatever appeared desirable in their 
sight. But the officers of these soldiers bilk-ted them- 
selves on the families they found most agreeable, 
generally selecting those among whom they found 
pleasant and pretty young ladies, to whom they paid 
many polite attentions. Indeed, thai set of his Ma- 
jesty's officers were noted for their kind aim 1 cour- 
teous behavior to the inhabitants of the Island 
generally; and after the war was over, several of the 


higher grade of officers married and settled there, 
becoming planters themselves. 

Mr. Legare's old aunt, Mrs. Ellis, was at that time 
living with his family on John's Island. She was 
the youngest daughter of the Huguenot Legare — was 
then in her eightieth year, and so infirm that she 
had a white nurse to attend constantly upon her. 
This old lady was very wealthy, and she had a large 
quantity of silver plate, damask table linen, and 
other valuables, packed away in large chests which 
she insisted upon keeping constantly in her own 
bed room, saying that was the safest place for them. 
And yet this bed-room was on the first floor of the 
house, with two entrances to it — one door opening 
at the foot of the stairway, and the other opening 
into the hall or public entrance of the house. And 
it is remarkable that though her chamber was in 
such a public situation, and the British soldiers in 
their searches for plunder, frequently brushed 
against the latches of her doors, yet they never once 
entered her room, or even seemed to see the doors 
that opened into it. 

Mrs. Ellis was a great patriot in feeling; she was 
also a woman of much prayer, and strong in faith, 
Jthoromrhlv imbued with the spirit of the Huguenots. 
It was her habit to go to prayer every time the 
approach of the British soldiers was announced by 
the watchword : " They are coming?" And on one 
occasion, when she heard a British soldier swearing 
with horrible blasphemous oaths, just outside of her 
door, she arose from her prayers, opened her door 
and reproved the man for his profanity. The soldier, 


who had frequently been to the house before, looked 
astonished at the sudden apparition, and after eyeing 
her in silence for a few moments, he asked : "Where 
the devil did you come from, old woman ? Go away 
and mind your own business/' Mrs. Ellis closed 
her door, and the man immediately left the house, 
to the great relief of the other ladies whom he had 
alarmed by his behavior. 

But a very different character also lived in Mr. 
Leo-are's fomilv— Miss Glado, the friend who had 
assisted in rearing Mrs. Legare to womanhood after 
the death of her mother, and had accompanied her 
to her husband's home. This old lady, then ninety 
years of age, but still active, was a thorough-going 
Loyalist in feeling, who never would allow that the 
Colonists had any right to free themselves from the 
yoke of Great Britain. She was a person of warm 
temperament, and old age had made her exceedingly 
irritable. Whenever the British soldiers went to 
the house on a plundering expedition, she did not 
go to prayer as Mrs. Ellis did, but would begin to 
reproach Mr. Legare's rebellion against the king of 
England, as the cause of all their troubles; and then 
turn about and scold the soldiers for disgracing 
their king and themselves by such conduct. One 
day a squad of these marauding British soldiers 
went to Mr. Legare's house, and after they had even 
searched the drawers and closets in the ladies' bed- 
rooms, and taken all they wanted, one of the men put 
his head into a little under-stair cuddy, about two 
feet square, hoping to find more booty concealed 
there. Xor was he quite mistaken, for old Miss 


Glado had hidden all the children's shoe and knee 
buckles in that place, supposing that no one would 
expect to find anything valuable in an open closet 
like that. And while the soldier was prosecuting 
his search, old Miss Glado sat a short distance from 
him, rocking her chair; and while she watched for 
the result, she could not refrain from giving utter- 
ance to her displeasure in a suppressed tone of anger : 
M Thieving wretches ! And all this comes of rebellion ! 
Accursed robbers ! I hope that head of yours may 
stiek last in that cuddy!*' But when she saw the 
man draw forth all the silver shoe and knee buckles. 
her wrath could no longer be restrained, but burst 
forth in a tone of indignation : " Do you see that. 
Betsy ! — the thieving devil has even stolen the chil- 
dren's silver buckles!" In return for which, the 
soldier cursed her, declaring that she was too old 
and ugly to live, and a scold besides. 

This was a party of McGirr s men, chiefly Scotch 
Highlanders, and noted for their ferocity and bru- 
tality. Just as they were leaving the house, Mr. 
Legare rode up to it on horseback, and one of the 
men immediately demanded his saddle, which he 
refused to give up, and a struggle ensued. The sol- 
dier drew his sword, but Mr. Legare still held on to 
the saddle ; and Mrs. Legare seeing a British officer 
approaching the house, ran out to him and begged 
his interference, and he ordered the soldiers to leave 
immediately, which they did. 

AVhile such searches for plunder were frequently 
going on, and every other part of the house ran- 
sacked, Mrs. Ellis's bed-room remained undisturbed. 


and her valuables undiscovered. Who can doubt 
that a special providence thus preserved what she 
had thus committed to God's special keeping? 

While Mr. Legare was confined to his plantation 
on parole, he was informed that misrepresentations 
were being- made to Governor Rutledge, in Charles- 
ton, accusing him of treachery to his country. He, 
therefore, determined to go "to Charleston* at the 
hazard of Ids life, and see the Governor in person. 
Accordingly, he selected two trustworthy servants, 
to row him to the city by night in a little boat, and 
left his house on the plantation late in the evening, 
without the knowledge of any one else excepting his 
wife. He reached Charleston in safety, and had a 
private conference with the Governor,* who assured 
him that he had not for a moment believed the accu- 
sation. And having concluded his business, and 
received a passport from the Governor, Mr. Leo-are 
set out on his return to John's Island at midnight 
They crossed Ashley river, passed through James- 
Island Cut, and went down Stono river on the 
James' Island shore, and then crossed Stono river to 
the mouth of the Abbepoola creek, which they en- 
tered without having received any interruption Vrom 
friend or foe. And then Mr. Legare laid himself 
down in the bottom of the boat "to catch a few 
minutes' repose, before he should commence his walk 
back to his plantation. He directed his servants to 
row the boat as quietly as possible up the creek to 
their intended landing place; but, if they should see 
any one or hear a noise, to stop rowing immediately 
and awaken him. 


According to his order, the boat advanced up the 
Abhepoola creek until it came opposite to what is 
now Captain AValpoIe's settlement, when they were 
hailed by horsemen, and ordered ashore on that side. 
The negroes instantly stopped their oars, and awoke 
their master, who hade them turn the boat quietly 
and put her into a little creek which they had just 
passed on the same side, while he remained lvinsf in 
the bottom of the boat to screen himself from the 
view of his pursuers. The moon was shining very 
brio-htlv, and they distinctly saw the British horse- 
men on the opposite shore, who continued calling to 
them and firing upon them in rapid succession. But 
the hi^h marsh soon concealed the boat from view. 
as it moved quickly up the windings of the little 
creek, and they soon landed in safety at the rear of 
the present village of Legareville, at that time, a 
thickly wooded piece of land : from this port they 
pushed forward on foot, being still some miles distant 
from home. 

They had proceeded as far as Holmes' plantation, 
and were in the midst of an old field, where every 
object was rendered distinctly visible bv the bright 
light of the moon, when thev heard horsemen 
rapidly approaching from the quarter to which they 
were going. In this strait, Mr. Legare and his ser- 
vants paused and looked about them a moment — the 
woods were too distant to admit of their reaching 
them soon enough, but they saw a large tree fallen 
by the roadside, behind which they threw themselves 
flat upon the ground, and just in time to conceal 
themselves from the view of the British soldiers, who 


rode by at full speed, and evidently in pursuit of 
them. They then got up and ran across the field, 
and through the woods till they reached home, 
when Mr. Legare immediately undressed and went 
into bed. But scarcely had he done so, when the 
trampling of horses was heard around the house, 
and Mrs. Legare, trembling with fear, hastily ripped 
up one of the hearth-tiles, and hid her husband's 
wet stockings under it. In a few minutes the sol- 
diers were in the room, and accused Mr. Legare of 
having been in Charleston, not that night, but two 
day a before. 

To this eharge Mr. Legare replied : " Were you 
not here the dav before yesterday ? And did von not, 
yourself, see me in this house ? how, then, could I 
have been in Charlestown on that day V" 

"Well, idid; but you have been in town — we 
know it." 

" AVho told you so ?" asked Mr. Legare. 

" That is nothing to you ; you went to Charles- 
town the dav before yesterday,." 

" I did not go to Charlestown the dav before ves- 
terday?" replied Mr. Legare. 

After looking about the room awhile, the soldiers 
left the house, and rode off to Mr. John Freers 
house. From him they tried to find out if Mr. Le- 
gare had been to town, but being himself ignorant 
of the fact, Mr. Freer positively denied the charge. 
At length, the leader of the party exclaimed : " We 
never searched Mr. Legare for papers ! And if he 
went to Charlestown, he could not have passed the 
lines without a passport from Governor Rutledge on 


his return." As soon as Mr. Freer heard this 
remark, he placed refreshments before the soldiers. 
And then, stepping aside, he directed a servant to 
go quickly to Mr. Legare and tell him, that, if he 
had any papers about him to burn them, for the 
British were going: there to search him. 

On the receipt of this message, Mr. Legare remem- 
bered that he had the Governor's passport in his 
pocket, and immediately threw it into the flames. It 
was just consumed when the same party of British 
soldiers, accompanied this time by an officer, again 
rode up to the house. Mr. Legare went into his 
piazza to receive them and the officer said to him : 
" Mr. Legare, you were not in Charlestown the day 
before yesterday, but you were there yesterday." 
Mr.TLegare replied : * 4 Really, Captain, I think we 
have had enough of this child's play,*' and then, 
turning to one of the soldiers, he asked him : %t Were 
you not here, yourself, for hours yesterday, and until 
after sunset last evening ?" The soldier acknowledged 
that such was the truth. And then Mr. Legare 
added : " Come, gentlemen, our breakfast is on table, 
and, to end this matter, walk in and take breakfast 
with us." The officer assented, they went into the 
-house and breakfasted with the family, talked and 
laughed with Mr. Legare, and never again was the 
subject of Mr. Legare's visit to Charlestown alluded 
to by any of the British. 

In after years, Mr. Legare often spoke with strong 
emotions of gratitude to God, of his wonderful 
escape on that occasion, and of the remarkable man- 
ner in which God had, by the interposition of his 


providence, turned the wisdom of the enemy into 
foolishness; for, instead of sending that night first 
to his house to ascertain if he were absent from 
home, they sent their men to watch at the several 
landing places for his arrival, and deferred going to 
his house till near day-light, thus giving him time 
and opportunity to go and return in safety: and then 
they as strangely persisted in charging him with be- 
ing absent frum his home at times when he could 
prove by their own soldiers that he had been at 
home, without once naming tht night that he had 
actually gone to the city, and in which they were 
watching for his return to John's Island; which, if 
they had done, he could not have denied. 

Shortly after this occurrence, Governor Rutledge 
effected an exchange of prisoners, by which Doth 
Mr. Legare and his son, Lieut. James Legare, were 
placed at liberty, and they joined the American army 
in Charlestowu, assisted in defending the town and 
remained there during the sie^e. 

But, as the interior of the State was then consid- 
ered more secure than the sea islands, and the imme- 
diate vicinity of Charlestowu, Mr. Legare removed 
his family from John's Island to his plantation in the 
parish of St. John's Berkeley, near Monek's Corner. 
The Rev. Dr. Percy and family, Miss Rinchea 
Elliott, Mrs. Percy's sister, and Miss Baker also ac- 
companied them, and there they all lived together 
in Mr. Legare's house, under Dr. Percy's care, until 
after the fall of Charlestowu, Mr. Legare having 
returned to Charlestowu to assist in its defence. 

The Rev. Dr. Percy was an Episcopal clergyman 


of the evangelical type, and was, afterwards, the first 
rector of St. Paul's Church, in Charleston. He was 
a native of England, and wasjirst sent out to preach 
the gospel in Carolina by Lady Huntington. He 
afterwards married Miss Elliott and settled in 
Charleston. Though an Englishman by birth, his 
sympathies were entirely with the Colonists of Amer- 
ica in their struggle for independence, and he used 
all his influence to encourage a spirit of patriotism 
in the people, and to strengthen the soldiers in light- 
ing for their country. He was intensely Enqlish in 
nis ideas ot family 'UscipUne, which some condemned, 
for at that early date the fc< Young America " of this 
day, had already begun to assert its independence of 
parental control. But Dr. Percy was a truly good 
man, and a noble Christian character. 

While these families were thus living together in 
St. John's Berkeley, near MonckV corner, Lieut. 
Col. William Washington and his body of cavalry 
were surprised and defeated at Monck's Corner, by 
Colonels Tarleton and Webster with a superior 
force. The Americans were routed, about twenty- 
five of them were killed and the fugitives hid them- 
selves in the neighboring swamps, rather than sur- 
render themselves prisoners to the British. A few 
days after this defeat, a poor woman named Gibson, 
who lived in the neighborhood, went to Mr. Legare's 
house and told the family that some half-starved 
American soldiers, " bloody as hogs," she said, had 
gone to her house and begged for food, but she had 
none to give them. " Then do go and bring them 
here, for we have enough and to spare !" exclaimed 
Dr. Percy. 


The next morning several heads were seen peeping 
out from the hashes. Mr. Legare's house was situ- 
ated between the forks of the public road, and, 
according' to the signal given to Mrs. Gibson for the 
soldiers, Dr. Percy put on his ministerial robes and 
walked out into the road. Then immedietely an 
officer with two of his aids, came out of the woods 
and asked for food. Dr. Percy invited them into 
the house, and all the ladies — who were equally 
anxious to help the sufferers — met them at the door 
with kind greetings. Miss fiinchea Elliott, in her 
earnest solicitude ahout her defeated countrymen, 
stepped forward and asked with much feeling : "Can 
you tell us, Sir, what has become of dear Colonel 
Washington? Is he among the killed or wounded?'-' 
With a polite bow, the officer responded to her 
inquiry: "I am that unfortunate man, Madam!" 
"Odear!" exclaimed Miss Elliott, drawing back 
and blushing deeply. 

Colonel Washington was a Virginian, (better 
known afterwards as General William Washing-ton, 
who married another Miss Elliott, the granddaugh- 
ter of Mr. Joseph Stanyarne, of John's Island,) then 
said to them : " I do, indeed, thank you all for your 
sympathy and kindness to me, but most of my suf- 
fering men have not tasted food for three days, and 
are now lying in the woods faint from exhaustion/' 

" Send and call them all here; we have had a large 
supply of food prepared already, and can supply all 
their wants," said Dr. Percy. On a signal given by 
the officers, the soldiers came out of the woods and 
up to the house, and while the ladies and servants 


busied themselves in serving out refreshments to the 
hungry officers and soldiers. Dr. Percy walked up 
and down the road as sentinel, to give the signal of 
alarm if the enemy should appear in sight, for they 
were not far distant. 

Some weeks after this occurrence, just as the family 
had seated themselves at the breakfast table, the ap- 
proach of Mrs. Gibson was announced. Poor Mrs. 
Gibson was always the bearer of bad news, and a 
feeling of anxietv immediately seized the whole 
party — she entered the house exclaiming : " Good 
people have you heard the news? Charleston has 
fallen ! and the devilish British soldiers have already 
cut to pieces all the men, all the cats, all the dogs, 
and now they are coming here to kill all the women 
and children I" The ladies were all terrified by her 
incoherent and exaggerated statement, and Dr. 
Percy cried out : " For shame ! Mrs. Gibson ; do 
you not know that Mrs. Legare's husband and son 
are both in Charlestown, and you will frighten her 
to death with your wild talk?" Mrs. Gibson replied, 
addressing Mrs. Legare : u Why, bless you, good 
woman ! I have a husband and four so?is in the army 
at Charlestown, and God only knows if any of them 
are still alive, for I have not heard from them." 

A few days after, Mrs. Gibson received the infor- 
mation that her husband and four sons had all been 
killed during the siege of Charlestown. And thus, 
the poor woman was, by one stroke left alone — wid- 
owed and childless. Alas ! what sorrows follow in 
the train of war ! 


After the fall of Charleston, Mr. Legare again be- 
eame a prisoner on parole. At first, the British 
authorities were very mild in their treatment of their 
prisoners, hoping thus to win them to submission ; 
and Mr. Legare obtained permission, in the month 
of June, to go and visit his family, from whom he 
had not heard for several months. To do this, he 
was obliged to walk all the way up to his plantation 
in ^t. John's Berkeley, where he found them all well 
and still in possession of an abundance of the neces- 
saries of life. But the next morning after his arri- 
val, a troop of " Tarlton's brutal corps,"' as they had 
been justly stigmatized for their ferocious character, 
rode up to the door and took from them every- 
thing eatable that they could find in the house. In 
vain the ladies pleaded to have some provisions left 
for them, and Mr. Legare, taking his own children 
and Dr. Percy's children, carried them all out to the 
commanding officer, and asked him if he would 
leave all these little ones to starve. Coldly eyeing 
the group of children, the officer replied with an 
oath, " Rebels had better starve than the kind's 

Finding that starvation only awaited them there 
now, Mr. Legare and Dr. Percy determined to 
remove their families to Charlestown. But as small- 
pox was then an epidemic in the town, thev had 
every member of the household innoculated, who 
had not previously had that dire disease ; after which, 
they all embarked on board of a schooner, and thus 
the entire party returned to Charleston. 

Mr. Legare's town residence was occupied by 


British officers, and be was obliged to take bis fam- 
ily to Mrs. Ellis's house in Broad Street, was after- 
wards owned and occupied by the Misses Ramsay. 
On the first fioor of this bouse several British offi- 
cers were quartered, and among them, Dr. Turnbull, 
who was a native of Greece, but at that time 
attached to the British army. In the upper part of 
the house old Mrs. Ellis was allowed to remain, and 
the house being large, Mr. Legare's family there 
found a resting place for a season. There they all 
had the small-pox, and there Mr. Legare was taken 
sick with the countrv fever, which he had contracted 
in his walk through the sickly country up to St. 
John's Berkeley. After awhile they were all restored 
to health, excepting Mr. Legare, who continued to 
sutler through the summer from paroxysms of fever. 

The situation of the citizens of Charlestown be- 
came very trying at this time. Dr. Ramsay, in his 
Revolutionary History, says : 

" The common soldiers of the British army, from 
their sufrerincrs and services during the sieire, eon- 
ceived themselves entitled to a licensed plunder of 
the town. That their murmurings might be southed. 
the offieers connived at their reimbursing themselves 
for their fatigues and dangers at the expense of the 
citizens. Every private house had one or more of 
the officers or privates of the royal army quartered 
upon them. In providing for their comfort, or 
accommodation, very little attention was paid to the 
convenience of families. The insolence and disor- 
derly conduct of persons thus forced upon the citi- 
zens, were, in manv instances, intolerable to freemen 


heretofore accustomed to ba masters in their own 
houses." u For slight offences, and on partial and 
insufficient information citizens were confined by the 
orders of Lieut. Col. Xisbit Balfour, one of the com- 
mandants, and that often without any trial. The 
place allotted for securing them being the middle 
part of the -cellar under the Exchange, was called 
the Provost. The dampness of this unwholsome 
spot, together with the want of a lire-place, caused 
among the sufferers some deaths, and much sickness. 
In it the American State-prisoner, and the British 
felon shared the same fate. The former, though, for 
the most part, charged with nothing more than an 
active execution of the laws of the State, or of hav- 
ing spoken words disrespectful, or injurious to the 
British officers, or government, or of corresponding 
with the Americans, suffered indignities and distress 
in common with those who were accused of crimes 
tending to subvert the peace and existence of 

Dr. Ramsay farther states, that : " On the 27th of 
August, thirty-six of the citizens " — whose names he 
gives along with his own name — " were taken up 
early in the morning out of their houses and beds, 
by armed men, and brought to the Exchange, from 
whence, when they were collected together, they 
were removed to the Sandwich guard-ship, and in a 
few days transported to St. Augustine. The manner 
in which the order was executed was not less painful 
to the feelings of gentlemen, than the order itself 
was inglorious to the rights of prisoners entitled to 
the benefits of a capitulation. Guards were left at 


their respective houses. The private papers of some 
of them were examined. Reports were immediately 
circulated to their disadvantage, and every circum- 
stance managed so as to give a general impression 
that they were apprehended for violating their 
paroles, and for concerting a scheme for burning the 
town and massacreingthe loyal subjects."— Page 370. 
Dr. David Ramsay's first wife was the grand: 
daughter of old Mrs. Ellis. She died childless — he 
afterwards married a daughter of Henry Laurens, 
the statesman of Revolutionary fame ; but at that 
time he was a widower, and lived next door to the 
house in which Mrs. Ellis lived, with whom Mr. Le- 
ffare and his family were then residing. And, when 
the British soldiers went to arrest Dr. Ramsay, as 
stated above, the ladies of Mr. Legare's family were 
assembled in an upper balcony of Mrs. Ellis's house, 
looking on, and of course, sympathizing deeply with 
their oppressed and insulted fellow-citizen and friend. 
Among these ladies stood a Mrs. Gordon, who was 
on a visit to them. This lady was herself a native 
of England, and had become notorious for the un- 
feminine fearlessness with which she upbraided the 
British officers and soldiers for their injustice and 
cruelty to their prisoners ; and, of course, she soon 
became herself an object of persecution. When Dr. 
Ramsay came out of his house with a small bundle 
of clothing under his arm, and surrounded by twelve 
armed soldiers, Mrs. Gordon called out aloud: "Only 
look at that ! twelve armed British soldiers to carry 
one poor rebel across the street! you dastardly 
cowards!" The soldiers looked up at the balcony 


and cursed her. The ladies all implored her to be 
quiet, and not to exasperate their enemies by such 
remarks, and old Mrs. Glado said to old Mrs." Ellis: 
''If you do not turn that wretched woman out of 
this house, her tongue will bring us all into trouble/' 
Mrs. Gordon replied: "0 you chicken-hearted set 
of patriots! Well, if I cannot talk here. I will go 
where I can talk — good morning ladies!" and away 
she Went. 

Sure enough, Mrs. Gordon's tongue did bring 
them trouble, for the next morning before breakfast, 
a party of British soldiers entered Mr. Legare's bed- 
room to arrest him, also, and carry him to the Pro- 
vost prison. Mr. Legare was sick in bed with the 
fever, and told them that he was too sick to go. 
They replied roughly: " Come, come, none of your 
excuses."" Mr. Legare immediately dressed himself, 
took leave of hi> distressed family, and accompanied 
the guard to the prison-vault, where his sufferings 
as an invalid were very great. Old Mrs. Ellis sunk 
into despondency under this last trial. The next day 
she visited Mr. Legare. in the prison, and. putting a 
large sum of money into his hand-, she said to him: 
*' Xow that they have taken from me my last earthly 
props, Dr. Ramsay and yourself — I will go home and 
die." Then, after having taken an affecting leave of 
her dear nephew, to whom she was greatly attached, 
Mrs. Ellis went back to her house, and a few days 
after gently passed away ami went to her eternal 
rest in heaven. 

Xor did Mrs. Gordon altogether escape. On the 
same day that Mr. Legare was arrested, a party of 


soldiers were sent to arrest her. She heard they 
were in pursuit of her, and hastily put on her hat to 
go out and seek a place of concealment for herself. 
As the soldiers reached the door of the house in 
which she was living and knocked for admittance, 
she opened it. They asked : "Does one Mrs. Gor- 
don live here ?" Mrs. Gordon replied : " You had 
better go inside and inquire there." And while they 
walkcd in she walked out on fleet feet, and concealed 
herself so effectually in the house of a friend, that 
they never found her. 

In the autumn of the same year, Mr. Legare was 
removed from the Provost prison, and sent on board 
of one of the prison ships anchored in the harbor, 
along with his son. Lieut. James Legare, Mr. John 
Bee Holmes, Mr. John Edwards, Mr. Job Palmer. 
Rev. Mr. Edmonds, and many others. As usual 
on such occasions, a great crowd of citizens as- 
sembled to see them leave the wharf in boats, and 
among the rest were a number of ladies. Just as 
the prisoners, sad and dispirited, were moving off 
from the shore, while the crowd looked on in solemn 
silence and tears, Miss Martin (who afterwards mar- 
ried Captain Lewis Ogier), ascended to the top of 
the earthen fortification at the foot of the wharf, 
took off her bonnet and waived it high in the air. 
exclaiming: "Courage! thy brave countrymen! 
keep up your spirits! there are better days ahead!*" 
The prisoners, aroused from their sadness, answered 
with three loud cheers, which the crowd took up 
and repeated. But this proceeding enraged the 
British officers and soldiers, who were doing all they 


could to crush out the patriotism of their prisoners, 
and some were for proceeding to violence, but were 
restrained by those in command, and so the patriotic 
young girl escaped with only curses against her rebel 
spirit— a spirit which, nevertheless, seemed to flourish 
most when most trampled upon, as a Southern ma- 
tron told a British officer. 

The prison-ships of the British were anchored in 
the harbor of Charleston, between Castle Pinckney 
and Sullivan's Island, and there they remained till 
the following June, when the ships were ordered 
on to Virginia by the British authorities in Charles- 
ton, who circulated the statement that the prisoners 
were sent to Virginia to be exchanged ; but what 
their real intention was in sending them away, will 
80on appear by the result. 

After Mr. Legare had been removed to the ship 
in the harbor, his family left the town and went to 
the plantation on John's Island, and from thence 
Mrs. Legare went once in every fortnight to visit her 
husband aboard of the prison -ship. These little 
voyages she performed in a small row-boat, accom- 
panied by her sons Thomas and Solomon, then 
young lads about fourteen and ten years of age. 
Mrs. Legare had always been exceedingly afraid of 
rough water, but now, duty and affection overcame 
the strength of her fear, and led her to hazard this 
sometimes dangerous navigation for a little boat, for 
the gratification of seeing and conversing with her " 
husband and son for a few hours. And as long as 
she was permitted to visit them, she kept up her 
spirits with heroic fortitude under all her other trials. 


At length, however, a stop was put to even this 
occasional intercourse, which had then been carried 
on for six months. Some of the ladies from Charles- 
town, who visited the prison -ships, had very impru- 
dently, and as unseasonably, taken music along with 
them, and had tried to get up a dance with some of 
the American prisoners, on board of one of the ships. 
This proceeding was intended as a defiance from 
them to the enemy ; but it was as unwise a measure 
as it was an ill-timed amusement, and it reacted 
upon themselves and others in painful effects : for 
the British, angered bv such conduct in the few, for- 
bade any farther intercourse between the prisoners 
and their families. Xor were ladies ever after 
allowed to go aboard of any prison -ship. 

Ignorant of the recent prohibition, Mrs. Legare 
went as usual to visit her husband and son in 
Charleston harbor, but when she arrived alongside 
of the prison -ship, was denied the privilege of see- 
ing them. In vain she pleaded that she had never 
offended, or mingled with the dancing people. The 
officers said they were sorry for her disappointment, 
but their orders excluded every lady, and they could 
make no exception in her favor. Then Mrs. Legare 
was obliged to return to her home on John's Island, 
sick at heart and filled with agonizing fears for the 
safety of her husband and son. This disappointment, 
together with the fatigue and exposure for so many 
hours to the heat of a meridian sun in the month of 
May, brought^ on a violent fever, and when she 
reached the plantation, she was put into bed extremely 
ill. For weeks she continued so ill that her recoverv 


was despaired of. Old Miss Glado, who had always 
nursed her in sickness so tenderly and faithfully, had 
recently died, and to complete their distress, her two 
little daughters, Catharine and Mary, were also taken 
ill with country fever. But kind neighbors and 
faithful servants nursed them day and night through- 
out this severe ordeal. 

Just at this juncture— " in May, 1781, a general 
exchange of prisoners was agreed to, in which the 
militia on both sides were respectively exchanged 
for each other. Notwithstanding every difficulty, a 
considerable number of the inhabitants had perse- 
veringly refused to become British subjects. These 
being exchanged were delivered at the American 
ports of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Great were 
the exultations of the suffering friends of Independ- 
ence, at the prospect of being released from confine- 
ment and restored to activity in their country's cause, 
but these pleasing prospects were obscured by the 
distress brought upon their families by this otherwise 
desirable event, for they were all ordered to quit the 
town and province before the first (lav of August 
next."— Ramsay's History of the Revolution. 

The prison -ship in which Mr. Legare and his son 
were confined, was ordered to sail for Virginia in 
June, 1781. A few days before the ship left the 
harbor, Mr. John Freer went to Charleston and 
obtained permission to visit Mr. Legare, when he 
used every argument in his power to persuade Mr. 
Legare to take protection from the British, and 
return to his family. Mr. Legare maintained that 
the Americans were engaged in a just and righteous 


cause, and that God would yet help them to estab- 
lish their Independence — nor would he forsake the 
cause of his suffering country. Mr. Freer then told 
him of the illness of his wife and daughters, and 
of the probability there was that he would never 
again see them, if he persisted in his determination. 
This information was a heavy blow to Mr. Legare, 
and moved him to tears, but still he continued tirni, 
and Mr. Freer, at his request, returned to Charleston 
and obtained permission for Mr. Legare to visit his 

The British Commandant sent to the ship for Mr. 
Legare, and giving him a passport, told him to go 
and visit his family on John's Island. Mr. Legare 
inquired to what time his absence from the ship must 
be limited. The Commandant replied : * ; You are 
aware, Mr. Legare, that the ship is to leave the har- 
bor to-morrow at twelve o'clock, and I depend upon 
your honor to return in time to go in her to Virginia/** 
Mr. Legare left Charleston immediately, and arrived 
on the plantation in the evening. As he entered his 
wife's bed-room a sad spectacle met his view — in one 
bed lay his two little daughters, both very ill, and 
on the other side of the room in another bed, lay 
his unconscious wife. A faithful servant, Chloe, was 
bending over her with tender solicitude, and bathing 
her fevered temples with cold water, while two kind 
friends, Mrs. St. John and Mrs. William Stanyarne, 
were administering to the wants of his suffering 

Mrs. Legare had been in a stupor for hours, from 
which they had found it impossible to awaken her to 


consciousness, hut the sound of her husband's voice 
calling to her in accents of tenderness and love, 
aroused her to consciousness— she opened her eyes 
and recognized him, and from that moment she 
began to revive. Mr. Legare sat and watched by 
her side until the day began to dawn, when- he told 
her that he was then obliged to leave and return to 
the ship before she sailed out of the harbor. Shocked 
at this information, Mrs. Legare looked up into her 
husband's tace with an expression of anguish, ask- 
ing: "Oh, can you go and leave me thus?" But, 
recollecting in a moment that she was urging him 
thus to break his pledged word of honor, she added 
with heroic fortitude : " Yes, my husband : go, go 
at the call of duty and honor ; and may God be with 

^ Having committed his loved ones to the care of 
his and their heavenly Father, and having taken a 
very sad leave of them, fearing that they would 
never meet again in this world, Mr. Legare with 
an aching heart, set out on his return to the prison - 
ship. But, after he had gone a mile or two from 
home, while his heart was engaged in fervent prayer 
to God, a passage of Scripture was applied to his 
soul with such power as to raise him from his 
depression, and he was comforted with a firm assu- 
rance that all would end well, and that he should be 
again restored to his family in safety. ~ 

Mr. Legare afterwards told this, and added the 
assertion : " That he had never, from that hour again 
had a doubt or a feeling of despondency about his 
family's restoration to health, so greatly was his faith 
and hope strengthened." 


True faith in GocVs promises always puts men upon 
using the means which lie within their power for 
the accomplishment of those promises, and if they 
do not do this, they tempt God rather than trust Him, 
for God usually works bv men and means. 

According to this principle, Mr. Legare was desir- 
ous of having his family removed to the city till the 
sickly season should be over, therefore he went first 
to Charlestown and called to see Dr. Turnbull, who 
was still living in the house that had belonged to 
old Mrs. Ellis, which house she had in her will 
bequeathed to Mr. Legare. Mr. Legare requested 
Dr. Turnbull to allow his family to occupy the third 
story as they had done before. Dr. Turnbull acknowl- 
edged that it was a hard case for a man to be denied 
admittance to Ma own house, under such circum- 
stances, but, he added : " It is more than I dare do 
to bring them here, for it would certainly bring me 
into collision with the British authorities. But, if 
you can get lodging for them elsewhere in the town. 
I will attend vour family as their physican, and do 
all in my power to assist them." 

Mr. Legare's time was too limited to admit of his 
doing more than calling upon an old friend, Mrs. 
Roupelle, whom he requested to hire rooms for his 
family, if it were possible to obtain them in the 
crowded town. And Mr. Freer undertook to bring 
them to Charlestown as soon as lodgings could be 
procured. Mr. Legare then returned to the prison - 
ship and sailed in her to Virginia. 

Mrs. Roupelle immediately set out in search of 
lod^in^s for Mrs. Le£are, and after much difficulty 



succeeded in obtaining but one small room near her 
own house— which was at the corner of Tradd and 
Friend streets, and already crowded by British offi- 
cers quartered there. And to this one room, Mr. 
Freer conveyed the sick family of Mr. Legare. Mrs. 
Legare, her two sick little daughters, and two young 
sons, were all crowded into that one room, just large 
enough to hold three beds and one table in the 
midst. Two faithful female servants, Chloe and 
Phillis, who were both devotedly attached to the 
family, had accompanied them from the country and 
still nursed them faithfully. But the weather was 
exceedinglv hot, and Dr. Turnbull said Mrs. Legare 
would certainly die if she continued in that place. 
Mrs. Roupelle and another friend, therefore, went 
again in pursuit of more comfortable loddn^s, and 
at length succeeded in obtaining two rooms in King 
street, to which Mrs. Legare and her children were 
again removed. 

Thus Mrs. Legare — who was the owner of a large 
property and really the mistress of three large 
houses in the town, then occupied by British officers, 
with the greatest difficulty, procured a miserable 
lodging place for herself and children in their 
extremity. Such were the trials of that day ! But 
how little do those who are surrounded by all the 
luxuries and elegancies of life, ever realize what our 
ancestors endured, or even pause to think of the 
trials, privations and sufferings which they cheerfully 
submitted to, in order to secure that civil and reli- 
gious liberty, which we are now enjoying. 

Scarcely had Mrs. Legare recovered from the 


country fever before she and her children were 
ordered into exile — to leave the town and province 
and £0 to Pennsylvania, along with manv other fam- 
ilies of those gentlemen whom they had sent to Vir- 
ginia as prisoners, to be exchanged. Mrs. Legare's 
two faithful servants, Chloe and Phillis, immediately 
begged her to take them along with her, to which 
she gladly assented. And in the month of July. 
Mrs. Legare and her four children — Thomas, Solo- 
mon, Catharine and Mary, together with the two 
servants who smuggled themselves into the ship, and 
with a large number of other ladies and children, 
were all compelled to embark and crowded aboard 
of an old leaky vessel, which was put under the com- 
mand of a man almost wholly ignorant of sea-navi- 
gation. In this piteous condition the vessel was 
sent off to Philadelphia, and there is no doubt that 
the British authorities in Charlestown, thus arranged 
every particular of this inhuman proceeding with 
the deliberate design that the vessel should be 
wrecked, and all on board of her be drowned in the 
ocean. But God took care of them and in His good 
providence defeated the intentions of the enemy, for 
thev were carried through all the dangers thev 
encountered safely into their destined port. 

Among these helpless and distressed exiles from 
their own homes was the family of Mr. Job Palmer: 
Mrs. Palmer was in daily expectation of her accouch- 
ment, and pleaded to be allowed to remain at her 
home for only a few weeks longer. But regardless 
alike of her pitiable situation and her tearful entrea- 
ties, she was compelled to embark for Philadelphia 
at once. 


They had a most dangerous voyage, during which 
they encountered much stormy weather, which 
frightened the Captain in command so greatly, that 
he begged an aged sea-captmn who was on board of 
the vessel, to take his place and command the ship. 
This old sea-captain was himself one of the exiles 
who had been driven from Charlestown by the 
British, and he, after some hearty curses upon the 
enemy for their brutality to helpless women and 
children, and upon the "land -lubber of a Captain," 
who had undertaken a responsibility that he was 
utterly incompetent to fulfil, took command and suc- 
ceeded in guiding the crazy vessel through its perils 
into the port of Philadelphia. Shortly after the 
arrival of the exiles in Philadelphia, the Rev. Benja- 
min Palmer, D. D., (since pastor of the Circular 
Church, in Charleston, S. C) was born, while his 
mother was an exile in a strange city, and his father, 
in company with Mr. Legare and others, were mak- 
ing the best progress they could back to Charleston, 
under the impression that their families were still 
there, where, some weeks before, they had left them. 

AVe will now return to the prison -ship on board 
of which these gentlemen had been sent in the 
month of June, as was said, to be exchanged as pris- 
oners of Avar in Virginia. But when the ship 
arrived at the mouth of James river, the prisoners 
were all landed on a desolate sand -bank, which was 
separated from the main land by a wide and deep 
channel of water. The prisoners remonstrated 
against such a murderous proceeding, and claimed 
their rights as prisoners of war. But the command- 


er of the ship declared that such had been his pri- 
vate instructions, and he dared not disobey them. 
And on that desolate sand -hank, out of sight and 
hearing of assistance from the land, the ship left 
them all, without a drop of water or a mouthful of 
food. The prisoners, seeing nothing before them but 
the horrors of starvation, gave themselves up for 
lost. Most of them sat down in despair, but Mr. 
Legare's faith and hope in God's help led him to 
expect deliverance, and set him to searching out 
some means of deliverance or escape from their peril- 
ous position. Taking his son and Mr. Palmer with 
him, he walked all around the bank, and at length 
discovered the end of a small boat projecting out of 
the sand on the beach, on the side next to the shore. 
They three dug the boat out and found it sound and 
water-tight, with the exception of one hole in the 
bottom made by a bullet fired through it. They 
stopped the hole with some of their clothing, and 
then the whole party escaped from the sand -bank to 
the main land, crossing the intervening channel two 
or three at a time. Once on the soil of Virginia, 
thev soon found friends both willing and able to 
assist them. 

As soon afterwards as they could procure horses, 
Mr. Legare, his son, Lieut. James Legare, Mr. Pal- 
mer, Mr. John Bee Holmes, and Mr. John Edwards, 
set off together to return bv land to Charleston, S. 
C, supposing that their families were still living 
there. And they reached Goosecreek, S. C, before 
they had received any tidings from home, and there 
they met Mrs. William Elliott. Mrs. Elliott was 


the last friend Mr. Legare had spoken to when 
he was leaving his native State some weeks before, 
and now she was the lirst he met on his return to 
Carolina. On meeting them, Mrs. Elliott exclaimed : 
" Why, Mr. Legare ! where are you going to ? Do 
you know, gentlemen, that the British have exiled 
all of your families, and sent them all to Philadel- 
phia by sea ?" And then she related the particulars 
of the proceeding to them. Shocked at this infor- 
mation, and remembering the perfidious and cruel 
treatment which they had themselves just received 
from the enemy, they were ■ filled with the most 
anxious solicitude for the safety of their loved ones. 
Bidding their sympathizing friend, Mrs. Elliott, a 
sad adieu, they immediately turned their horses' 
heads, and, with heavy hearts, commenced to retrace 
their steps northward. 

They had not proceeded far on their way before 
they met Governor Rutledge, who invited them to 
ride up 10 his plantation and refresh themselves 
before they went farther, which they did, resting 
only a few hours, and declining his pressing invita- 
tion to stay longer, on account of the intense anxiety 
they felt to know the fate of their families. Gover- 
nor Rutledge delivered to Mr. Legare's care some 
government papers, which he requested him to 
deliver to Congress at the State House in Philadel- 
phia. And then they started afresh on their 

WTiile they were traveling through Virginia, th'ev 
met a number of gentlemen assembled at a public 
house for the transaction of business, with whom 


thev were invited to dine. During the soeial eon- 
versation at the dinner -table, some of the Virginians 
were expressing a wish for certain table luxuries 
which the war-times denied them, and Mr. Legare 
replied to them : "Well, the greatest luxury which 
I crave now is a fine apple and a slice of good 
wheaten bread and butter, neither of which have I 
tasted for many months.'' One of the gentlemen 
present, who was a perfect stranger to Mr. Legare, 
immediately said to him: "If you will do me the 
favor, sir, of accompanying me to my plantation this 
evening, you and your traveling companions shall 
have both at breakfast to-morrow morning." Mr. 
Legare thanked him for his kind invitation, but, 
hearing that they must sro three miles out of their 
road to accept of it, he courteously declined it on 
that account. But the gentleman urs:ed their accept- 
ance of the invitation so much, that they felt con- 
strained to accompany him to his home, and were 
sumptuously entertained that night in his handsome 
residence by himself and family. 

The next morning his polite host requested Mr. 
Legare to accompany him to his stable, and asked 
him to point out the horse which he considered the 
best. Mr. Legare then pointed out a beautiful ani- 
mal as the finest horse there. And the gentleman 
responded : " Xow, sir, you must do me the favor to 
accept of that horse — I perceive that you are badly 
mounted for a journey, and your tired horse will 
never carry you to Philadelphia." Mr. Legare 
thanked him for his kindness, but insisted that he 
could not take the handsome horse. " Then, sir, if 


you will not accept of that horse, choose another, for 
a horse from my stable you must and shall have." 
Finding his host so much in earnest, Mr. Legare 
told him that he would gratefully accept of a strong 
but less valuable horse, on condition that he would 
receive his note for the value of the horse, which 
note Mr. Legare would pay whenever he should 
recover his property out of the hands of the enemy. 
The srentleman consented to the arrangement, and 
Mr. Legrare was accordingly mounted on a tine, 
strong horse. They then bade adieu to their kind 
host — but in parting he presented Mr. Legare with 
a letter of introduction to his father-in-law, whose 
door they must pass the next evening. 

This gentleman also received them with great 
kindness, and insisted on their spending the night 
under his roof. And the next morning when they 
were taking leave, their host put a large sum of 
money into Mr. Legare's hand, telling him that it 
had been sent there for him. Mr. Legare replied : 
" My dear sir ! this is too much kindness — it over- 
powers me ; Indeed, I cannot receive this !" His 
host replied : " But, indeed, sir, you must take it — 
my son-in-law sent it for you, and has charged me 
not to let you go without it. He says, you have still 
a long journey before you, and he is sure that you 
will need it before you reach Philadelphia." Deeply 
affected by the kindness and delicacy of these 
stranger-friends, Mr. Legare thankfully accepted the 
money, which they greatly needed. This sum of 
money paid the expenses of the whole party of five 
gentlemen all the way to Philadelphia. And after 


Mr. Legare's return to Carolina, he refunded both 
this sum and the value of the horse, with many 
thanks to the kind friends whom Providence had 
raised up for him in a strange region, and in an hour 
of verv great need. 

It is greatly to be regretted that the names of these 
two gentlemen are involved in some uneertaintv in 
the minds of those now Hcing, who received the 
recital from the lips of two of the traveling party, 
and therefore, we reluctantly forbear giving them. 

As soon as they reached Philadelphia, Mr. Legare 
rode directly to the State House and delivered the 
papers intrusted to his care by Governor Rutledge. 
And there he found out from some of the gentlemen 
where their several families had obtained lodgings 
in the city, and then, very soon, each and every one 
of them was in the midst of his own loved ones, 
who were overjoyed at their arrival. 

During the residence of these exiled families in 
Philadelphia their difficulties and trials were very 
great, and they were often reduced to want — for be 
it remembered, that all their property and resources 
were in the hands of their enemies, and all commu- 
nication between them and friends at home was cut 
off. But God took care of them, watched over them 
and in many ways provided for their necessities, as 
they afterwards testified. 

Many were the merciful provisions and interposi- 
tions of Divine Providence, in behalf of Mr. Legare's 
family in their times of extremity, some of which 
we will here relate for the encouragement of those 


who put their trust in God, and yet may be reduced to 
the lil<< 4 straits for the trial of their faith, for many 
Mich there are at this day. 

On one occasion, Mr. Legare went to market and 
expended the last piece of money he had, to pur- 
chase a dinner for his family, not knowing- from 
whence the next day's provision would come. He 
was returning home feelina* anxious about it, and 
//// iitnlli/ engaged in prayer, when he met General 
Uohertcleau. Mr. Legare had corresponded with 
this gentleman on church matters, before the war 
began, but they were personalty unknown to each 
other till Mr. Legare's arrival in Philadelphia, when 
General Kobertdeau called to see Mr. Legare, and 
renewed the acquaintance in person. General Rob- 
crtdcau on this day, stopped Mr. Legare in the 
street and said to him : 4i My friend, situated as you 
are, with all of your property in the hands of the 
enetnv, and vour family in a strange eitv, I am sure 
you must be in need of funds; allow me, therefore, 
the pleasure of contributing to your present necessity 
with this sum." And so saying; he put some gold 
pieces into the hand of Mr. Legare, who gratefully 
received it, acknowledging that he had just expended 
the last cent he had. 

When the above supply gave out, the family were 
again reduced to want, and then there came a Mr. 
Gilbert from Xew Jersey, who brought Mr. Legare 
a large sum of monev, saying to him: " Mr. Legare, 
some years ago I went to Carolina a poor man, in 
want, and without friends. But you, pitying my cir- 
cumstances, allowed me to cut ship-timber on your 


land and build myself a ship, and afterwards you 
refused to take a eent from me in payment of that 
timber. Little did I think then that you would ever 
need my aid, or that I should ever have it in my 
power to return kindness to you. But now, Provi- 
dence has given me such an opportunity — I am well 
off in the world, have enough and to spare — and 
you must receive this money, for it is onlv vour 
due." Here was an illustration of a Bible precept 
with a promise attached to it : " Cast thy bread upon 
the waters, for thou shalt lind it after many days. 7 ' 

Again — after all that money was expended, Mr. 
Legare's family was reduced to great necessity, and 
he tried to borrow money* from the Treasury. They 
agreed to lend the money, provided, that when he 
should return to Carolina, he would leave the two- 
slaves he had in Philadelphia, Chloe and Phillis, as 
hostages until the money was returned to the Treas- 
urv. But, when they were asked if thev were wil- 
ling to stay in Philadelphia, both Chloe and Phillis 
refused to be left, saying — thev would either ero 
back with their mistress to Carolina, or run away 
and go after her as soon as they could. And their 
master and mistress told them not to distress them- 
selves about it — for they would trust God to provide 
for them in some other wav, rather than have them 
there against their own will, especially too, after all 
their faithfulness and devotion to the family in their 
times of suffering and distress. This assurance com- 
forted them, but Mrs. Legare's spirits were greatly 
depressed about their sad condition, and she began 
to weep. 


On the contrary, Mr. Legare expressed a very 
strong assurance that "their Covenant God, who had 
already done such strange things for their relief, 
would again manifest Hrs care for them in some way 
or other, through and by His providence. And he 
said with a smile to Mrs. Legare: 4k Drv vour tears, 
my dear wife, and be hopeful, for ' the Lord will pro- 
vide!" While he was thus trying to comfort his 
fainting companion in tribulation, they heard a 
knocking at the street door. M r. Legare opened the 
door himself and saw a gentleman, then holding a 
public office in Philadelphia, who said to him : kk Mr. 
Legare, a large sum of money has been forwarded 
tor you, from Carolina — I do not know who sent it r 
but by calling at mv office vou will receive it." 

This sum of money not only supplied their pres- 
ent necessity, but was sufficient to pay all their 
expenses in traveling back to Carolina, as well as to 
provide the wagons and horses that were needed to 
convey the family to their home in the South. But 
it was not till after their return to Carolina, that 
they could find out from whom the money came — 
and then they heard from Mr. John Freer, the fol- 
lowing singular history of it: 

After Mr. Legare's family left the plantation on 
John's Island, and went to reside in Charleston, 
most of the negroes continued to work the lands 
under Mr. Freer s direction, and made a very large 
crop of corn. As soon as the crop was harvested, 
the British sent an officer with a party of soldiers, to 
take it all away from them. The negroes told the 
British that the corn belonged to Mr. Freer, and 


they sent to call Mr. Freer, who immediately went 
to the spot and elaimed the corn. He told the 
British officer that he had loaned the provisions to 
these negroes, and therefore the crop properly 
belonged to himself. The officer replied : " That as 
Mr. Freer was a loyal subject to the king, he would 
pay him the value of the corn, provided Mr. Freer 
could bring a proper witness to prove his claim."' 
And instantly one of the British soldiers in the party, 
who was an entire stranger to Mr. Freer, started up 
and said : - I will swear to the fact ! for I know 
that the whole crop belongs to Mr. Freer." On this 
assertion, the officer, without farther demur, paid 
Mr. Freer in gold, the full value of the whole crop: 
and this was the money which had been so mysteri- 
ously forwarded bv Mr. Freer, through a eroverri- 
ment conveyance, to Mr. Legare in Philadelphia. 
and which proved such a merciful provision for the 
family in a time of great need. 

Thus, through various instrumentalities, and in 
wonderful ways, did God, in his providence, supply 
the wants of his trusting children, under their many 
and severe trials. And finally he brought them 
home in safety from their wanderings as exiles, and 
restored to them the most of theii; possessions. 

Shortly after Mr. Legare had received the last 
named sum of money, the inhabitants of the citv of 
Philadelphia were aroused at midnight by the joyful 

cries of the watchmen in every direction, proclaim- 
ing the news of the defeat of Lord Cornwallis, at 
Yorktown, Virginia, which occurred October 19th. 


1781 — and which event virtually closed the war. 
The watchmen received the news from the lips of 
the express courier, who came with dispatches from 
General Washington to the government, and rode 
through the city to the State House, at that hour 
proclaiming ami repeating in a loud voice as he 
passed along the streets — " Cornwallis is taken ! 
Cornwallis is taken !" The watchmen along the 
streets caught up the joyful news and shouted it 
forth again in their loudest tones, till the streets 
echoed and re-echoed the joyful sounds. The Dutch 
watchman, who was stationed under Mr. Legare/s 
window, bawled out in broken English : " Half-bast 
twelfe o'clock ! and Gornwallis e daken !" Mr. Le- 
gare instantly leaped from his bed, and raised the 
window-sash, asking: "What ho! friend, did you 
say that Cornwallis is taken prisoner?'' ik Yaw !"' 
responded the Dutchman, and then burst out into a 
merry Dutch song. 

In less than a half-hour the whole city was in com- 
motion : bells were rinsTing merrilv, cannon firing 
off a salute, persons running to and fro, and accla- 
mations of joy were heard on every side. 

And then quickly the exiled families began to 
prepare for their journey homeward. Mr. Legare 
purchased two large wagons and teams to convey his 
family and servants back to Carolina. The wagon 
in which his family rode, Mr. Legare drove himself, 
and his son Thomas drove the baggage wagon — 
Lieut. James Legare had joined General Washing- 
ton's army as soon as he had reached Pennsylvania, 
and remained in that division of the army till peace 
was declared, and the armv was disbanded. 


Several others of the exiled families — among these 
was the family of Dr. Joseph Johnson's parents, he 
being at that time quite young, but old enough to 
remember all these details — -joined Mr. Legare's fam- 
ily in their return journey to Carolina — all of them 
riding in wagons, whieh was indeed, the only way in 
which they could travel at that time. And thus 
they formed a traveling caravan in the day, and at 
night they encamped by the road-side, or in the 
woods, all keeping near together for their mutual 
protection. The ladies and children slept in their 
wagons, and one of the party with the dogs, kept 
guard and watched the camp around while the others 

Traveling in this style they came all the way from 
Philadelphia, and reached their homes in South Car- 
olina in perfect safety. 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Legare lived for many years 
after their return to South Carolina, at the close of 
the war. Mrs. Legare died in February, 1798, aged 
sixty-three vears. An account of her life and death 
has already been given in the foregoing pages. Mr. 
Legare only survived his wife three vears. About 
a year after her death, their youngest son, Solomon, 
(Hon. Hugh Swinton Legare's father) died, after 
lingering for many weeks through a nervous fever, 
and left a widow and three small children. Mr. 
Legare constantly wept over the death of this child, 
concerning whom he refused to be comforted. This 
constant weeping brought on a disease of the throat, 
whieh ended his davs two vears after his son's death, 
and prevented his either swallowing nourishment, 


or articulating a word for (lavs before his death. 
Mr. Lesrare died A. I). 1801, a^ed sixtv-ei«rht vears. 
Mr. Legare's death was soon followed by that of his 
eldest daughter, Catharine — who was a great-grand- 
daughter of the Huguenot Legare, and second wife 
of the Rev. Isaac Stockton Keith, D. D. This lady 
died two vears after her father's death, at the as:e of 
thirty, and as her husband wrote to his sister, "of a 
consumption of the nervous class, under which she 
languished till the loth May, 1803, when, on the 
morning of the Lord's dav, she left me and her other 
relatives and friends here in the house of mourning, 
and triumphantly entered upon the enjoyment of 
that everlasting Sabbath, which is celebrated by the 
spirits of the just made perfect in glory. To her, 
'to die was indeed gain,' but to me, how great is 
the loss !" Her husband adds in the same letter : 
"And under the influence of a steadfast faith, and 
lively hope in Christ, and in the cheering prospect of 
that eternal life, which God has in and through 
Christ promised to believers, she was enabled to 
view the certain, steady, solemn approach of death, 
with an undismayed heart ; and not onlv so, but with 
an ardent desire to depart that she might be with 
her Saviour and God. At different times within the 
week before her death, she said : ' O that the blessed 
hour were come ! that it might be this night, or 
this moment, if such were the will of God, for then 
I shall be happy, happy, happy !'" — See Keith's Works, 
page 269. 

Mrs. Keith was death-struck on . Thursday, when 
immediately a powerful death-sweat burst from every 


pore, and fell from her fae2 and hands in large drops, 
wetting her clothes so thoroughly that she desired 
her sister, (now Mrs. Kinsey Burden,) to bring her a 
change of clothing. But when she returned with 
them to the bed-side, Mrs. Keith, with the utmost 
calmness said : " Let it alone, Polly ; Mrs. Thomas 
savs it is not worth while disturbing me now, to 
change, for it will soon be over, she thinks " — mean- 
ing that she would soon expire : but she lingered in 
death till the following Sabbath morning. On Sat- 
urday night Miss Legare, leaving her cousin, Miss 
Hendlin and other friends with her sister, retired to 
'seek repose in another room, and returned about 
day lioht. On entering she saw her sister lying with 
her eyes closed and her hands clasped, apparently in 
prayer, but perceiving by her hurried breathing that 
tjietide of life was ebbing fast, she placed her hand 
upou the dying pulse. As she did so, Mrs. Keith 
opened her eyes and said : " Polly, my throat is very 
sore ; go down stairs, my dear sister, and prepare a 
mop to wash it." 

Miss Legare hurried off to do what her sister had 
requested, and returning with the mop found her 
lying in the same position. Mrs. Keith again opened 
her "eyes, and looking tenderly at her sister, said : 
"What, have you returned so soon? Go, my dear, 
and tell Dr. Keith that he will not be able to preach 
to-day, but ask him to write and request Dr. Hol- 
lingshead to pray for a speedy dismissal for me." 

Miss Legare then saw that her sister wished to 
spare her the sight of her last struggle, and running 
hastily to Dr. Keith's study, she exclaimed : " Come, 


quickly. Dr. Keith ; our dear Kitty is now going 
rapidly!'' Then hastening back to the chamber of 
death, entered it as her sister expired — aged thirty. 

Twenty-seven years after the death of Mrs. Keith, 
the gammons of death next arrived for her eldest 
surviving brother, Mr. James Legare, who had, for 
manv vears, lived a srodlv life, as a member of the 
church of Christ, and a zealous and devoted officer 
of the churches with which he was personally 

He died of paralysis, combined with cancerous 
affections of his system, under which his physical 
sufferings were intense, and his mental powers much 
impaired. The actings of his mind towards the last 
were disordered, and at times he appeared unable to 
penetrate the gloom ot the dark valley through 
which he passed down to Jordan's stream. The day 
before he died, being very restless, an old friend at 
his bedside, asked what ailed him, to which he 
replied : " Oh ! I am passing through the dark, dark 
valley of the shadow of death." Some time after 
he said: "I have now got to the end of that dark 
vallev, and again behold the sun of righteousness !" 
He evinced much concern about the salvation of his 
only surviving son, who had not then professed faith 
in Christ, as his daughter had, and taking his hand 
between his own hands, he cried : " Take hold on 
Jesus, my son" — and, " James, be faithful, be 
faithful, be faithful to the Church, as I have been !" 

He died January, 1830 — aged sixty-eight. 

Next followed his younger brother, Mr. Thomas 
Legare, who had also been a Christian for many 


vears. and was Ions: an active member and officer of 
the churches with which he was personally con- 
nected, both in the city and in the country. He 
also died after a lingering illness of some months, 
under which his sufferings were very great, and his 
mental powers greatly impaired. He departed this 
life in July, 1842, aged seventv-six. 

The youngest and last surviving child of Mr. 
Thomas Legare and his wife Eliza Basnett — Mary 
Legare, who was afterwards Mrs. Kinsey Burden, 
Sr., survived her brother Thomas ten vears, and 
died on the 12th of June, 1852, aged seventy-seven 

This lady was still-born and supposed to be dead: 
she was, therefore, laid aside for burial; while the 
sister, who was twinned with her, being a line, 
strong, healthv-lookino; child, was carefully dressed 
and nursed. Some time after, the uurse heard a fee- 
ble, little cry, like that of a kitten's, proceeding from 
the little still-born infant, and found that it was alive. 
She laid it upon a pillow, for it was too small to be 
carried about in any other way; and being too feeble 
to nurse, milk was dropped into its mouth from a 
spoon for some weeks before it became able to take 
its nourishment in the usual way. In this way, the 
little Mary, who was small enough at her birth to 
be held in a quart-mug, survived through the perils 
of a feeble infancy, while her larger and healthy- 
looking twin-sister died a few hours after her birth. 
And though so feeble in her infancy, that same little 
Mary afterwards enjoyed a great share of health and 
strength through a long life of seventy-seven years, 


and outlived every other member of her father's 

Some weeks before Mrs. Mary Legare Burden's 
last sickness, she told her husband, Mr. Kinsey 
Burden, Sr., that the time of her departure was at 
hand, and requested him to remove her at once from 
the plantation on John's Island, to the house of her 
daughter, Mrs. Eliza Fludd, in Charleston, under 
whose roof she wished to die. She was then in her 
usual health, but her husband complied immediately 
with her request, and accordingly, she arrived at 
her daughter's house, in Charleston, about the middle 
of Mav. On meeting her daughter, she said : "Well, 
my darling child, according to my promise, I have 
come to you to die, for I know that the hour of my 
departure is near at hand." She was cheerful, well 
enough to attend church on the next Sabbath and to 
take a dailv drive in her carriage, vet still insisted 
that the hour of her departure from earth was near, 
and spoke frequently of the heavenly joy in reserve 
for the people of God. On the last Sabbath of her 
life she attended church services in the Circular 
Church where she heard a stranger minister preach 
a delightful sermon on the subject of the family 
relation on earth, as ordained of God, to be typical 
of the whole family of God in Heaven. 

This sermon made such a deep and pleasing im- 
pression on her mind as led her to speak of it several 
times to her children and grandchildren. The next 
day she was taken sick with symptoms which soon 
ended in pneumonia, and closed her earthly life in a 
few days. The evening before her death, seeing 


everyone of her children and grandchildren assem- 
bled in her room, with a loving smile she called them 
around her bed and took leave of them all — again 
she referred to the sermon she had heard but a few- 
days before, and expressed the hope that when we 
all should meet again in Heaven — it would be as an 
Unbroken family circle, u around the throne of God 
in odorv" — from which none would be absent, who 
was then present. She then admonished them all 
to love each other, to bear with each other's failings 
and never to allow anything whatever to enter among 
them as a separating wedge to divide the family. 
Then giving them her blessing, she ceased speaking 
from exhaustion. A night of great physical suffer- 
ing ensued, and at sunrise the next morning she 
expired. The following truthful obituary notice is 
taken from the Charleston papers, and was written 
by her pastor, on John's Island — the Rev. A. Flinn 
Dickson : 

" Obituary. — Departed this life on Saturday, the 
12th of June, 18.32, in Charleston, in the seventy- 
seventh vear of her a^e, Mrs. Marv L. Burden, 
wife of Mr. Kinsey Burden, Sr., and youngest and 
last surviving child ot Thomas Legare, Sr., who 
deceased in 1801." 

This venerable lady possessed many of those traits 
which distinguished her Huguenot and Puritan 
ancestrv, modified bv the circumstance of sex, and 
the softer age in which she lived. Ardent in dispo- 
sition, sincerity and truthfulness formed the founda- 
tion of her character. Candid in the expression of 
her opinions, she never hesitated to remonstrate with 


those whom she thought had not dealt rightlj with 
her ; hut having done so, she was as ready as ever 
to exhibit towards them that kindness which marked 
her intercourse with all. A sincere believer in those 
religious opinions in which she had been educated, 
and ever ready to profess her attachment to, and 
preference for them ; no shade of bigotry mingled 
in her religion. To love the Lord Jesus Christ in 
sincerity, to acknowledge Him as their God and Sa- 
viour, was, with her, to be of the same ;i household 
of faith." 

Like her Huguenot and Puritan fathers, she had 
a firm faith in a special Providence, and this, more 
than all things else, appeared to comfort her in the 
trials and disappointments of life. And, no wonder 
that such was the case, for, apart from the teachings 
of scripture, she delighted to tell of many instances, 
handed down in the family, from generation to gen- 
eration, where God's interposing hand was mani- 
fested for the care and preservation of his servants. 
Born in the dawn of the Revolution, cradled amidst 
its distresses and privations, its scenes made an indel- 
ible impression upon her childhood. Preserving a 
vivid recollection of its sutferings and losses, she 
fully appreciated the importance of the struggle in 
which they were incurred, and as she recounted the 
tales of those times, one could understand how con- 
doling a part the women of South Carolina acted in 
that great drama ; and though not claiming to be a 
Spartan mother, she ever taught her children that in 
the cause of liberty, as in the cause of religion, the 
path of duty was the path of safety. 


Early in life she became the professed follower of 
Jesus Christ, and for near sixty years adorned that 
profession by a consistent life and fervid piety. The 
companions of her youth were the friends of her 
riper years, and she was the last of a band, distin- 
guished by many virtues, and whose mutual friend- 
ship even the snows of age -could not chill. 

She was much "given to hospitality,'' and the 
wayfarer and stranger were never turned from her 
door. To the entire community in which she lived, 
she was deeply endeared, and to the last of her 
life sedulously cultivated the pleasures of rational life 
and society — it being a maxim with her, that we 
should never live to ourselves. 

To the aged partner of her life, her removal is an 
unspeakable grief; separation after so long a union 
must be bitter in any ca-e, but doubly so, when one 
is taken who was a helpmeet indeed. To her chil- 
dren, her loss can never be repaired. The tender 
cares, the devoted and indulgent love which she lav- 
ished upon their infancy and childhood, have only 
been exchanged for the most solicitous affection, as 
they advanced in life. She made their troubles and 
trials hers. She wept over their sorrows and 
over their pleasures. Themselves the heads of fam- 
ilies, they looked up to her as a part of their com- 
mon head, and fondly hoped tHat that cheerful and 
loving countenance would not be hidden from them 
yet a while. To them the word "mother" will ever 
be associated with the most holy and tender emotion 
of the heart. Xot to eulogise the dead whose praise 
is with all who knew her, but rather to portray her 


character for the emulation and veneration of her de- 
scendants, to teach them what they must be, if they 
would be like her, is this record inscribed to her 
memory. -May her virtues live in her children's 
children to the latest generation ! May the fear of 
God be their distinguishing characteristic, as it was 
hers, and (hose from whom she was descended. May 
they never substitute for it a miserable expediency, 
the offspring of the fear of man and of conformity 
to the world. 

I will here narrate a touching incident which 
occurred while our dear mother was lying a corpse 
in the third-story room where she died — that room 
having been her favorite apartment of all in the 
house, was fitted up for her special accommodation, 
and called " grandmother's room." A number of 
her negroes from the plantation on John's Island, 
had come to the city to attend her funeral, and came 
up to her bed room to take their farewell look at 
their beloved mistress ; the stair-way was lined with 
them ascending and descending — as one set left, 
another entered the room of death, silently weeping. 
In the midst of this mournful arrav, a strange voice 
was heard ascending the stairs and asking in broken 
English : " Where is the s;ood lady ?" Immediately 
after a poor Italian entered the room and approached 
the bier ; he threw himself upon his knees by the 
side of the lifeless bodv, and bursting into a flood of 
tears, lifted the cold hand of rav sainted mother to 
his lips and covered it with kisses and tears, saying : 
" let me kiss, for the last time, this dear hand that so 


often fed me and mine — 0, ladv, srood, crood lady, vonr 
rest is sweet; God bless you!*' Then rising from 
his knees, he descended the stairs, weeping bitterly 
as he went. At the funeral he again appeared in the 
throng and, with a badge of mourning on, followed 
in the procession with the servants. 

This poor Italian, with his wife and child, had a few 
years before been shipwrecked in Stono inlet, the 
planters around had assisted and provided them with 
a home and the necessaries of life. Our dear mother 
had often supplied them with clothing and food, 
and always had a kind word for the poor stranger, 
who had taken up his abode upon the Island as a 
fisherman. On hearing of mv mother's illness, he 
had traveled many miles to show his gratitude and 
affection to his benefactress, but arrived too late 
to see her in life, and thus expressed his grief at her 

Dear, dear mother ! many mourned and lamented 
thy departure from earth, and thy " works do follow 
thee !" But, though the cold clay be turned to dust 
and lie silent in the grave, thy children can never 
forget thee, nor thy precious counsels and example. 
Mav they ever live before us in all their freshness 
and beautv ! 

Mrs. Mary Le^are Burden was the last survivor of 
the fourth generation from the Huguenot Solomon 
Legare. She was also the last survivor of the cara- 
van-party, who, as related before, at the close of the 
Revolutionary war, returned from their exile in 
Philadelphia, to their homes in South Carolina. Mrs. 
Burden was, at that time, a verv young °:irl, but old 


enough to remember and be deeply impressed by all 
the occurrences of their sojourn in Philadelphia, and 
of their journey homeward, as well as by many of 
the preceding incidents of that eventful period, from 
the very commencement of the war itself, and often 
delighted her children, grandchildren, and their youth- 
ful friends, with her animated and vivid recitals of the 
scenes she had witnessed, and of the feelings which 
she and others had endured under the circumstances 
which she related.